Hey, that's what I said!I'd be good with a very minimal core skill system and let folks dial up the complexity.
What if this was the case for everything? There was a concrete number (1-5 skill points or whatever), that was a beginner, and several ranks above that (every 5 skill points sounds reasonable). Beginner-Expert-Master-Legend or somesuch. And each rank and a few basic assumed tasks that they could obviously do, as decided in the skill. Tiers don't work very well for characters as a whole, but they work great for skills individually!Monte Cook said:Imagine, then, if the rules of the game allowed each character to have a ""rank" " that indicated how perceptive they were, and if all the hidden things had a rank as well. You could quickly and easily compare the ranks. If the character's rank was equal to or higher than the rank of the secret door or other hidden thing, he could find it if he took the time, because it was easy for him. No die roll needed. He can just do it because he's very perceptive. If the rank of the hidden thing was higher, though, he could still try to succeed at a die roll. It's challenging, but not impossible (the sweet spot, if you will). And if the difficulty rank was a lot higher, it would just be impossible, and again there's no need for the die roll. The DM just says "you don't find anything." Quick and easy. And best of all, if the player told the DM that his character was doing exactly the right thing-—checking the statue's teeth to see if one moved-—the DM could easily grant him a bonus to his rank and make what was impossible to find, possible. Player ingenuity rewarded.
Maybe, but we're at pretty far points on what we're looking for based on your post...Hey, that's what I said!
Okay, except drop the skill points entirely. You're Untrained, or Beginner, or Expert, or Master, etc... but there's no need for fiddly points in between unless it's a strictly optional chapter for those who desire the additional complexity.What if this was the case for everything? There was a concrete number (1-5 skill points or whatever), that was a beginner, and several ranks above that (every 5 skill points sounds reasonable). Beginner-Expert-Master-Legend or somesuch. And each rank and a few basic assumed tasks that they could obviously do, as decided in the skill. Tiers don't work very well for characters as a whole, but they work great for skills individually!
For Core, I'd like to see no skills..
3E worked well in play, but character creation was way too convoluted, especially if you tried to make a rules-legal high level character. Too many fiddly bits...
Oh, and then the game expected you to do this for every friggin NPC (and nothing had so much errata like NPC skill lists) If people who are paid to do this get it wrong, the system is too complicated.
Each class has 2-3 iconic skills (Arcana for the Wizard, Stealth and Thievery for Rogue etc) These are gain a flat bonus, which is equal to maximg them, say +5 +1/level.
PCs then get a number of skill points (unmodified by Intelligence!) to put in other skills. There is no restriction or different point cost, just a friendly suggestion which skills could be useful.
You say that so easily, but are there groups that play with no skills? How?
How do you handle success / failure of anything a PC attempts that is not an attack or a spell? Even in very bare-bones dungeoneering, you need at least some form of Perception. How do you make a rogue class without at least Stealth and Thievery?
At the very least, you need an ability score check mechanic, and some basic criterion to decide whether a PC is competent at what he attempts. Think about a Wizard and a Fighter. Even if both have Int 18, the Wizard still knows more about magic, while the Fighter should be better at devising a tactic for a huge battle. Even without skills as a game mechanic, you need a skill system.
Iron Heroes had a pretty decent system. Instead of penalizing for non-class skills it just made it easier for you to take class skills.
-No class skills
-You get a few skill groups
-If you spend a point on any skill in a skill group they all go up one point
-You can still put points into any skill
Example skill group athletics: climb, jump, swim
Under this system characters can easily level up the skills that are thematically attached to their character class and they are not prevented from branching out if they want to. For instance, a wizard could take climb or swim but would have to allocate more skill resources to it than a class that has this as one of their skill groups.
Conversely, you could just make all the skill groups into "super-skills" and reduce the number of skill points classes receive. Take a point in athletics and that skill covers all the sub-skills. I don't really like this second option, but it would really make for a smaller character sheet.