the 3e skill system

miggyG777

Villager
I thought about combining Ilbranteloths approach with the granularity of Charlaquins idea and the implementation based on your ideas, Maxperson.

Untrained: Disadvantage (Ability mod)
Novice: Ability mod
Proficient: Ability mod + proficiency bonus
Expert: Advantage (Ability mod + proficiency bonus)

Novice is gained through downtime training, usage of the skill.
Proficiency is gained like RAW.
Expert is gained by putting an extra proficiency point into a proficient skill.

This would achieve a more dynamic skill system as well as nerfing the expertise rule with double proficiency that can lead to very high modifiers causing auto successes in every situation.

Here is the Anydice program to check out the numbers (you can vary DC; PROFICIENCY; ABILITYSCORE):

 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I thought about combining Ilbranteloths approach with the granularity of Charlaquins idea and the implementation based on your ideas, Maxperson.

Untrained: Disadvantage (Ability mod)
Novice: Ability mod
Proficient: Ability mod + proficiency bonus
Expert: Advantage (Ability mod + proficiency bonus)

Novice is gained through downtime training, usage of the skill.
Proficiency is gained like RAW.
Expert is gained by putting an extra proficiency point into a proficient skill.

This would achieve a more dynamic skill system as well as nerfing the expertise rule with double proficiency that can lead to very high modifiers causing auto successes in every situation.

Here is the Anydice program to check out the numbers (you can vary DC; PROFICIENCY; ABILITYSCORE):

Personally, I like the double proficiency from expertise. I think an expert should be able to know and achieve things that someone is proficient cannot. I also prefer not to give disadvantage for untrained. It's already hard enough to hit DCs without actively being bad at at.
 

Sepulchrave II

Adventurer
Even so, if someone is willing to spend 20+ skill points by 2nd level to get one thing, then that's probably the only thing they'll be very good at. at Diplomact is easy for a DM to shut down, if it's being abused: A Diplomacy check takes one minute (10 rounds) to make. If the opponent is hostile, as in, going to attack NOW, Diplomacy doesn't apply. It can't be done in time.
While I agree that using Diplomacy at all is highly circumstantial, I don't think that "hostile" means "openly belligerent and immediately about to attack" - if so, the category "Hostile" wouldn't be included in the Diplomacy DC table at all. It's a description of someone's initial disposition.

Yasser Arafat did not pull a gun on Shimon Peres, for example; yet their initial contact was certainly hostile.

Yes, shutting down Diplomacy if it's being abused is an option; wouldn't it be better if it were less readily abused?

Moreover, the skill synergies which feed Diplomacy are not from skills which are "wasted" in pursuit of maxing out the skill, as they are mostly "Face" skills, useful if the Bard is the party spokesperson/negotiator. Consider this elite array core character:

Human Bard 2: 8 14 13 12 10 15 Negotiator, Skill Focus (Diplomacy); Bluff +7 Diplomacy +18 Disguise +7 (+9 acting) Gather Info +7 Intimidate +9 Sense Motive +7 Knowledge (nobility) +6 Perform (lute) +7

So "simple" and "tough" skill checks vary, depending on the skill. Why? Because IRL some things are just harder to do than others.
This moveable baseline is problematic to me. It would be simpler if simple meant simple, and tough meant tough. This would avoid the problem of DCs migrating ever upward, in order to challenge characters at any given level.

I mean, I still play 3.5 - pretty much RAW at low levels. But I'm not oblivious to its warts.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
Thanks Maxperson, that actually sounds like a nice way to implement it. I might try that.

I also found this approach by Ilbranteloth:



What do you guys think about this? It nerfs players with non-proficiency in skills a bit more than the RAW do and therefore make the system a bit more dynamic because not every player is somewhat good at everything.

Obviously one way to do this in RAW is that you could just say, that if you are not proficient in a skill you can't apply it to certain tasks.

But the way he uses disadvantage / advantage allows you to transform that arbitrary rule into a generally applicable rule.

One critique however was, that it interferes with other advantage / disadvantage mechanics. Ilbranteloth replied to that with stacking advantages for instance. But I am really not sure how feasible that would be, since RAW clearly state that you cannot do that.
I saw that post. It was actually suggested by Charlaquin that doing the "Advantage/Disadvantage" would cancel each other out.

So the recommendation was that instead of that, it would be treating it as

Untrained: Ability mod only
Novice: Ability mod + half-proficiency bonus
Proficient: Ability mod + proficiency bonus
Expert: Ability mod + double proficiency bonus
 

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