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skill proficiencies point buy

Xeviat

Explorer
The bigger idea was not just to pair skills and ability scores as needed, a variant rule that I have to say I'm the only one I see doing around here, but to trim down the skill list so everything on it was meaningful. Combining similar choices like Athletics & Acrobatics, and leaving them differentiated by the ability score. And folding little used ones like Medicine into other skills, again differentiated by ability score.
I've thought of the opposite. Break the big skills up again and give out more skill points. My ability to lie doesn't help my lack of ability to pick pockets.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Passive skills shouldn't be skills. Passive skills should be saving throws. Take away passive use of Perception and make it a Wis save and you'll solve a lot of the problems.
I agree and disagree partly.

Agree that there should not be a skill that is handled passively as a default.

I dont think moving Per to a save is a better move however, partly because in 5e there are so many differences baked into save vs ability vs attack that it's a can of worms to unravel all the secondary shifts.

One of the things I dislike about 5e Per is it's rather default passive use for most cases. But that is a personal preference. I am a big fan of players bring the active side of the active roll vs passive stat - so I myself have players roll per vs NPC stealth, for instance, and have players roll stealth vs NPC passive Per as well.
 

ART!

Explorer
Passive skills shouldn't be skills. Passive skills should be saving throws. Take away passive use of Perception and make it a Wis save and you'll solve a lot of the problems.
The only issue there is it adds rolling of dice where previously there was none. Personally, as a DM, I prefer looking at the PC's Passive Perception, and whoever has it at or higher than, for instance, the bad guy's Stealth roll total - or 10+Stealth bonus, to be even quicker about it - whoever has an equal or higher PP notices the bad guy. It has the added bonus of not alerting the players to the fact that something fishy is going on. ;)
 

Xeviat

Explorer
The only issue there is it adds rolling of dice where previously there was none. Personally, as a DM, I prefer looking at the PC's Passive Perception, and whoever has it at or higher than, for instance, the bad guy's Stealth roll total - or 10+Stealth bonus, to be even quicker about it - whoever has an equal or higher PP notices the bad guy. It has the added bonus of not alerting the players to the fact that something fishy is going on. ;)

I'd rather people roll a die to notice a trap than just check their passive Perception. Since I know what their passive scores are, I'm either deciding I want them to find the trap, I want them to not find the trap if they're hurrying, or I don't want them to find the trap unless they're looking for it. I prefer it to be random all the time, and a last second Wis save to notice the trap before you trigger it is better.

Let them roll a Perception check when they're actively searching. Skills should always be called upon by players IMHO.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Not all skills need to be the same value in every game. I’m for DM empowerment and providing a suggested baseline that the DM can modify from there.

I disagree reed with forcing more skill checks of certain types into the game just to make those skills more meaningful. It makes them more meaningful but it does so at the expense of style and setting etc. Instead let the dm set the relative value of skills based on the campaign he is going to be running. IMO.


I had a related thought recently that might dovetail with this, to the point that it might come to me while I'm typing here.

So, ASIs provide a +1 and a +1 to the ability score(s) of your choice (with a cap of 20, natch) OR a feat. Given that, let's say a +1 ability score increase is worth 1 "point" (there's a flaw there, see below), and therefore that an ASI is worth 2 points. The alternative to an ASI is a feat pick, so feats much be worth 2 points, too.

The thing that occurred to me was "if feats are worth 2 ability score increases, why not allow feats to be chosen in place of ability score build points during chargen?"

The problem there (and arguably a flaw with ASIs) is that if you use point-buy costs, not all increases of ability scores have the same value: raising an ability score from 12 to 13 chews up 1 point-buy point, but raising from 13 to 14 chews up 2 points, etc.

That's as far as I got, but it seems like equivalencies could be made. I've built 5E races using the point value analyses and break-downs of people with much more committed than I, and one of the things I learned is that assigning everything point values is at least a little arbitrary. Different things will seem more or less valuable to different people.

So, I wouldn't want to get into assigning point values to every little thing in 5E.

Would you give every skill the same value, or have some be worth more than others? The latter would require at least somewhat arbitrary decisions.

What i think might work better is to say something like "1 rank in a skill is worth X [other thing on the character sheet]" or "1 proficiency is worth 1 ASI" or whatever, and have a "point buy" system that's really just a bunch of rough equivalencies.

I think it's fair to argue that a lot of things in 5E that seem like they should be of equal value aren't, or that many things are only valuable in the right player's hands. Having built races i can say with confidence that the official races are not balanced. I feel like the feats aren't of equal value either, but then that arbitrary thing comes back into my thinking. Sure, some people will choose to run a drow elf because racial trait X dovetails nicely with class feature Y, but some people choose drow because they think drow are cool, and the latter is what 5E seems interested in.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I worked this up once, inspired by MicroLite20, which does something similar: https://homebrewery.naturalcrit.com/share/ryshugSRr4
Pretty nifty. I also like that you addressed the lesser number of skills both for picking them up and proficiency. I missed that on first read. (Assuming same from other things that grant skills, like cleric domains and warlock invocations.)

As a side note, I dislike that layout site because I use firefox and it has some chrome-specific rendering. Combine with a portrait-oriented monitor while most are landscape and it messes up a lot more than it works.
 
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Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I've thought of the opposite. Break the big skills up again and give out more skill points. My ability to lie doesn't help my lack of ability to pick pockets.
My issue with this is applicability. Much like previous edition Ranger who had a favored enemy who may or may not come up frequently enough to justify that choice, having lots of niche skills has the same issue - they may never justify the opportunity cost of having picked them as opposed to some other skill. Better to have more generally applicable skills that will see some usage.

Being an expert pick pocket with class features spent to enhance it, only to spend six months real time on wilderness adventuring makes it feel like a waste.

BTW, I agree with the lie vs. pick pockets - those are different types of skills to me, I wouldn't consolidate them. I don't want a minimal skill list, I want a streamlined skill list that avoids some skills having vastly different utility than others. And to a lesser degree also characters missing half of a real world application because it's broken across multiple skills and the game-balance limit on number of skills forces some other choices.
 

ART!

Explorer
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
If you could come up with a simple system that DMs/groups could quickly rejigger to suit their game's needs, this seems doable. For instance: skills cost either 1 or 2 points per (proficiency, rank, whatever), quickly go through the list of skills and assign a 1 or a 2 to each. Not much to think about there since it's binary, and you get to stress the skills you want to stress, either because they're used so much or are harder to learn in a given setting, or whatever. This might require some guidelines about how to decide or what to consider when assigning values.
 
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FrogReaver

Adventurer
If you could come up with a simple system that DMs/groups could quickly rejigger to suit their game's needs, this seems doable. For instance: skills cost either 1 or 2 points per (proficiency, rank, whatever), quickly go through the list of skills and assign a 1 or a 2 to each. Not much to think about there since it's binary, and you get to stress the skills you want to stress, either because they're used so much or are harder to learn in a given setting, or whatever. This might require some guidelines about how to decide or what to consider when assigning values.
I might go with 1-3. Low-medium-high. But something like that with a preset and some advice on how to adjust. Heck the preset could just be that all skills are medium.
 

ART!

Explorer
I might go with 1-3. Low-medium-high. But something like that with a preset and some advice on how to adjust. Heck the preset could just be that all skills are medium.
Yeah, I literally almost went with a 1/2/3 example. 1 or 2 allows for a simple "thumbs up, thumbs down" approach, but I'd tend to lean toward a 1/2/3 , too.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
To me, at the point you start diving into the weeds of skill prices, consolidation into fewer etc, I start to look more fondly at the non-skill dmg options where you gain proficiency bonus for an ability or for your background and you dispense with the skills themselves.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I dispute your premise. "Many" people? Show me. Name some. Or show me a poll where many people answer that way.
I will counter-challenge.

Show me an rpg system with something like skills broken down for "purchase" where folks, perhaps many hard to say, dont crop up often enough to matter to complain about the "balance."

I have never seen one.

Which gets to the point of... it's really never gonna be "good enough" to satisfy enough that you dont get the vocal minority complaints.

The "good enough" balance wont come from points. It has to come from play.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I will counter-challenge.

Show me an rpg system with something like skills broken down for "purchase" where folks, perhaps many hard to say, dont crop up often enough to matter to complain about the "balance."

I have never seen one.

Which gets to the point of... it's really never gonna be "good enough" to satisfy enough that you dont get the vocal minority complaints.

The "good enough" balance wont come from points. It has to come from play.
You miss the issue with trying to fix the problem at the play level.
 

Mistwell

Hero
I will counter-challenge.

Show me an rpg system with something like skills broken down for "purchase" where folks, perhaps many hard to say, dont crop up often enough to matter to complain about the "balance."

I have never seen one.

Which gets to the point of... it's really never gonna be "good enough" to satisfy enough that you dont get the vocal minority complaints.

The "good enough" balance wont come from points. It has to come from play.
We're 5 years into this edition and there is virtually no noise about skills for this edition, and it didn't show up as an issue the surveys detected as a common problem even among a vocal minority.
 

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