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D&D 5E Some thoughts on skills.

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
additionally/alternately you could take the angle of "this is a really stealthy owlbear, only jorgenson with their super-perception abilites gets to roll to possibly detect it", even if it's a super high check, even if they fail the mere fact itself that they're the only one who gets a chance to make the check tells them that their skill investment is paying off: the others didn't even have the chance.
That's not how skills work though. You've described using GM fiat to slap an infected bandage over a gaping wound known as 5e's skill system & hoping it doesn't produced an argument like mentioned.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
I HATE treadmill systems, and don’t want the DCs scaling upwards just because characters have gone up in level. I’m not against high DCs showing up in the early game to indicate things the characters can’t simply do, but could come back later to attempt. But I don’t want to see all the DCs suddenly jump upwards just because the PCs gained a level or two.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I HATE treadmill systems, and don’t want the DCs scaling upwards just because characters have gone up in level. I’m not against high DCs showing up in the early game to indicate things the characters can’t simply do, but could come back later to attempt. But I don’t want to see all the DCs suddenly jump upwards just because the PCs gained a level or two.
Im with you. I think the trick to BA is expanding sideways, or growing the toolbox instead of upping the power level. How do you do that with a skill system?
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I'm good with a mix.

Some things are fixed DCs because that DC is based on actual skill and the very idea fo failing them eventually goes away. Some things scale because no matter how much of an Olympic gymnast you are, ice is still slippery and there's factors beyond skill that effect it.

So performing the balance beam is DC 20. Crossing a frozen lake is DC 15+1/2 level.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I HATE treadmill systems, and don’t want the DCs scaling upwards just because characters have gone up in level. I’m not against high DCs showing up in the early game to indicate things the characters can’t simply do, but could come back later to attempt. But I don’t want to see all the DCs suddenly jump upwards just because the PCs gained a level or two.
I dislike this, too - and can't help but feel they will (1) scale based on character design, which feels bad but also (2) that scaling makes a lesser-invested character effectively useless at that task - even though that investment is significant given the resources the characters have.

Charisma of 14 and proficient in persuasion as a fighter? Tough luck, the entire social world has been adjusted upwards for the 20 cha bard with expertise in persuasion.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I dislike this, too - and can't help but feel they will (1) scale based on character design, which feels bad but also (2) that scaling makes a lesser-invested character effectively useless at that task - even though that investment is significant given the resources the characters have.

Charisma of 14 and proficient in persuasion as a fighter? Tough luck, the entire social world has been adjusted upwards for the 20 cha bard with expertise in persuasion.
That's why skill points and plenty of them are so great.

Feel you're behind on a skill? This level, you catch up.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Im with you. I think the trick to BA is expanding sideways, or growing the toolbox instead of upping the power level. How do you do that with a skill system?
wouldn't skill challenges work? (if they work how i'm thinking they do) with how instead of requiring increasingly higher DCs you require multiple successful checks in a set before a number of failures, you might be able to get a lucky one off roll on a DC22 with a relatively unspecialised character but getting three DC22 successes before three failures with that same untrained character is going to be much less easy, higher difficulty but without stupidly escalating DCs.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
wouldn't skill challenges work? (if they work how i'm thinking they do) with how instead of requiring increasingly higher DCs you require multiple successful checks in a set before a number of failures, you might be able to get a lucky one off roll on a DC22 with a relatively unspecialised character but getting three DC22 successes before three failures with that same untrained character is going to be much less easy, higher difficulty but without stupidly escalating DCs.
Not bad. I also like a certain proficiency unlock sort of like PF2 feats, however, with game math that doesn't leave you with like 1-2 cream of crop skills and a handful of roll and pray stuff.
 

Pedantic

Legend
I dislike this, too - and can't help but feel they will (1) scale based on character design, which feels bad but also (2) that scaling makes a lesser-invested character effectively useless at that task - even though that investment is significant given the resources the characters have.

Charisma of 14 and proficient in persuasion as a fighter? Tough luck, the entire social world has been adjusted upwards for the 20 cha bard with expertise in persuasion.
I don't think there's any solution to this problem outside of writing your DCs down ahead of time. And if you pick a tiered challenge system, or a set of generic DCs, you're just shifting this decision making back 1 step, because you'll decide this is a very hard challenge instead of a hard one if your players aren't failing as often as you intuit they should.

I hate generic difficulty systems like the proposed regional DCs above, because they trivialize player decision making about how to approach problems, but that idea does have the advantage of at least committing you to a number.
 

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