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View Full Version : Why does the 4e/3.5e/etc. Skill system suck so bad?



Cartesian Demon
2010-03-07, 06:34 PM
{Scrubbed}

Longcat
2010-03-07, 06:36 PM
I mean, I know this ain't GURPS, but jesus. Why can't my Fighter know something about the gods without blowing a feat (4e) or sucking at it (3.5e)? Oh, I'm sorry, I wanted to roleplay a deeply religious warrior who nonetheless is not directly blessed by his God/moral compass.

Play a Crusader. :smalltongue:

RebelRogue
2010-03-07, 06:39 PM
Choose a 4e background that gives you Religion as a class skill.

Doug Lampert
2010-03-07, 06:45 PM
Choose a 4e background that gives you Religion as a class skill.

Or just notice that your character DOES KNOW quite a bit about religion.

The only benefit to training the skill in 4th edition is a +5 to the rolls. You never need the skill to be able to know something. In 3.5 you get all common knowledge without spending any skill, and can spend 2 skill points cross class to eliminate the limit to DC 10.

So the premise of the original question was wrong. Your fighter doesn't need religion as a class skill to "know anything about the gods" in either 3.5 or 4th.

Swordgleam
2010-03-07, 06:45 PM
You're getting less subtle.

And the answer to your question is, "Because they're not Iron Heroes." :smallwink:

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-03-07, 06:47 PM
Or convince your DM to do away with class skills completely. It's a trick that I've found works quite often, if you can make a good case for it from a character development perspective.

Cartesian Demon
2010-03-07, 06:51 PM
Or convince your DM to do away with class skills completely. It's a trick that I've found works quite often, if you can make a good case for it from a character development perspective.Rule 0 is no excuse for bad game design. Good day.

lesser_minion
2010-03-07, 06:52 PM
Oh, I'm sorry, I wanted to roleplay a deeply religious warrior who nonetheless is not directly blessed by his God/moral compass. I guess I can't, because fighters are "teh dum."

The rules don't stop you. In any respect. Did your 'deeply religious warrior' actually go to a university and study nothing but religion for eight years?

A cleric might have done, whereas a warrior probably didn't - at least, not immediately on starting out.

If you want your 'deeply religious warrior' to do so, there are plenty of ways to represent that.


For that matter, why are "actually useful" skills always bunched in with "not actually useful" skills? Spot or Religion? Hmm, which would be more useful for running around in dark dungeons?

Because of the differing amounts of effort needed to learn them, perhaps.


Gluh, sorry this turned into a rant. Seriously though, why are there still "class skills"? They suck. There, that's my problem. Class skills suck. Why are they still here? What design purpose do they serve, other than shoehorning characters' personalities?

Because some skills represent the focus of a character's education before attaining a character class, and others don't.

There are a couple of mistakes - e.g. Spot and Listen - but in a ten year old game, that's hardly unreasonable.

Deastorm
2010-03-07, 06:55 PM
You seem far angrier about this than I could be.

Kylarra
2010-03-07, 06:56 PM
Actually, 4e backgrounds are perfect for this. They allow you to have your normally "out of class" skill based on who your character is rather than your class. Granted, it still "costs" you one of your precious skill slots from your class, but them's the breaks.

Katana_Geldar
2010-03-07, 07:00 PM
That's not half of it, there's no logic behind how many skills are assigned to particular classes.

It does piss me off that there is no difference between a trained and an untrained check.

But, in Star Wars...

Cartesian Demon
2010-03-07, 07:00 PM
{Scrubbed}

lesser_minion
2010-03-07, 07:05 PM
I don't know if you noticed, but this game about wizards who learn how to cast more powerful spells by killing about 18 million zombies isn't exactly "realistic," nor does it have any "verisimilitude" to the discerning student.

It isn't about what it is, it's about what it's supposed to be. The purpose of the class skills is to emphasise elements of how different characters are trained. Fighters don't have Knowledge (religion) because they weren't trained academically.

You don't even have a point here.

Remember that the killing 18 million zombies to master wizardry:

is total BS. isn't the only way you can achieve it Entails a large amount of practice in a dangerous situation, and which is clearly noted as being supplemented by a large amount of research and time spent consolidating that.

JoshuaZ
2010-03-07, 07:05 PM
The skill system as given sort of stinks.

There are a few ways of handling this. One is to remove class skill v. non-class skill restrictions entirely. Another for 3.5 is to keep the limit on your max ranks in skills based on class but not require the 2-1 conversion of skill points when getting a non-class skill. This works really well. Another option is that everyone is allowed to pick at level 1 a single skill that isn't normally a class skill for them and make it a class skill (generally with some sort of backstory basis).

Now, if you want to know why the class skill system exists I suspect that it comes down to two things 1) WoTC didn't realize or didn't care how many character concepts the class skill system would hurt 2) The class skill system was seen as a way of balancing int based classes or classes with very high skills per a level and preventing them from making other classes trivial. Rogues and bards have a really fun time when the class skill rules are removed. And while some class skills should probably be combined (Open lock and disable device for example), that benefits the skillmonkeys more than it does anyone else. Wizards become even more incredibly ridiculous when they can use their really high int and take a few skills in whatever is convenient.

As problems in the 3.5 system go, the class skill system is pretty easy to fix and very low down on the list of problems.

I don't have enough 4.0 experience to discuss that system in detail, but I'll incidentally note that the problem in 4e seems smaller since feats in 4e are plentiful.

Overall, class skills are an item which is easy to houserule and isn't so deeply built into the system that a houserule will unbalance everything or create deep contradictions in the game.


That's not half of it, there's no logic behind how many skills are assigned to particular classes.

Do you have an example of what you mean? Sure it is unfair to sorcerers that they only get a single form of knowledge. But by and large it seems like class skill lists are very close to what one would guess they are. (There are a few glaring exceptions but they happen mainly in PrCs).

Katana_Geldar
2010-03-07, 07:08 PM
The strangest thing about the skill system, I think, is that WotC do have of an example where it actually works. It befuddles the mind why they took such a backward step with 4E.

Yes, I do have an example.

http://gmgeldar.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/table1.jpg

And I was talking about the number of skills that a particular clas can train in. It makes no sense.

Touchy
2010-03-07, 07:08 PM
The skill system as given sort of stinks.

There are a few ways of handling this. One is to remove class skill v. non-class skill restrictions entirely. Another for 3.5 is to keep the limit on your max ranks in skills based on class but not require the 2-1 conversion of skill points when getting a non-class skill. This works really well. Another option is that everyone is allowed to pick at level 1 a single skill that isn't normally a class skill for them and make it a class skill (generally with some sort of backstory basis).

Now, if you want to know why the class skill system exists I suspect that it comes down to two things 1) WoTC didn't realize or didn't care how many character concepts the class skill system would hurt 2) The class skill system was seen as a way of balancing int based classes or classes with very high skills per a level and preventing them from making other classes trivial. Rogues and bards have a really fun time when the class skill rules are removed. And while some class skills should probably be combined (Open lock and disable device for example), that benefits the skillmonkeys more than it does anyone else. Wizards become even more incredibly ridiculous when they can use their really high int and take a few skills in whatever is convenient.

As problems in the 3.5 system go, the class skill system is pretty easy to fix and very low down on the list of problems.

I don't have enough 4.0 experience to discuss that system in detail, but I'll incidentally note that the problem in 4e seems smaller since feats in 4e are plentiful.

Overall, class skills are an item which is easy to houserule and isn't so deeply built into the system that a houserule will unbalance everything or create deep contradictions in the game.



Do you have an example of what you mean? Sure it is unfair to sorcerers that they only get a single form of knowledge. But by and large it seems like class skill lists are very close to what one would guess they are. (There are a few glaring exceptions but they happen mainly in PrCs).

It actually feels exactly the same as 3.5 skill checks, except this time the limit on how awesome you are is much lower, and you're a bit more limited in the things you can do.

oxybe
2010-03-07, 07:09 PM
I mean, I know this ain't GURPS, but jesus. Why can't my Fighter know something about the gods without blowing a feat (4e) or sucking at it (3.5e)? Oh, I'm sorry, I wanted to roleplay a deeply religious warrior who nonetheless is not directly blessed by his God/moral compass. I guess I can't, because fighters are "teh dum." Seriously, what is this crap? It's not like it has a real effect on gameplay. "Oh, good, Johnny the Cleric knows about the Arian heresy. That'll be real useful when we're fighting a million billion goblins."

For that matter, why are "actually useful" skills always bunched in with "not actually useful" skills? Spot or Religion? Hmm, which would be more useful for running around in dark dungeons?

nWoD is pretty good about this, but you still wind up with choices like "Politics or Occult ? Hmm, which would be most appropriate for this campaign about dark occult happenings?" Sure, I can imagine a situation where you might need to use Politics or Politics might come in particularly handy arising naturally over the course of gameplay... about once a campaign, as opposed to Occult which would always be useful. At least Hero System now notes that if your character has KS: Italian Literature, he probably doesn't need to actually pay points for it, unless the GM plans on that knowledge of Dante's Inferno coming in handy later.

Gluh, sorry this turned into a rant. Seriously though, why are there still "class skills"? They suck. There, that's my problem. Class skills suck. Why are they still here? What design purpose do they serve, other than shoehorning characters' personalities?

why? D&D is a level based game where skill points are a limited resource.
D&D is not a skill-based game. skills are part of the package, but not it's entirety. a long list of separate non-associated skills in a game where they are a feature will dilute it's purpose, especially if the distribution method is limited.

i'll use 3rd ed D&D as an example for this, but it applies to any game where your skills are a limited resource. the 2+int skill points classes in a game with 36 individual skills, some like "knowledge" is actually 8 individual skills with one main header while perform/craft/profession are just placeholder for other skills. that 2+int will get somewhere between 46 and 92 points probably, or 4 skills by level 20. it sounds like a lot of points, but it's really maxing out less then a tenth of the possible individual skills. or you can split them up between a fifth of them but you'll be weak in those skills and if you need to do a task that should normally only be difficult for a character of your level it might prove itself too great...

D&D & other such games, since you have a very finite number of skills points to use, it's usually best to max out 2-3 skills and have another 3-4 with a few points in it... usually enough to score the minimum required for a task or to get some synergy bonuses.

in games like GURPS, which offer a more free-form leveling, you don't have a "limit" other then the amount of XP you gain and it's much easier to be trained in a large variety of skills

while it's very possible to min-max a skill in GURPS (i'll admit, i've done it), you will almost always have a some XP in storage to allocate and it's usually in your interest to spread them out as if you really need that one skill a bit higher. i find this not nearly as debilitating then D&D where you almost have to plan a level or two in advance if you want to spread them out, or just pick X skills and max them, where X = int+class skill points.

what 4th ed did is, IMO, a good thing: condense the skill list into similar groupings and let the players pick X (where X is determined from their class). this allows for characters who are much more skilled as each skill has a subset of things it covers. with 3 levels of training (untrained, trained, focused) possible which is modified by the stat mod, 1/2 level and items/situation, it does allow for variety between characters. it just doesn't bother with minute and individual details and leaves that to the player & gm.

in 4th ed if you want your rogue to be a pickpocket that can't crack safes grab "thievery", ignore the training bonus and tell that to the group & GM. done.

WoD is a skill based game. D&D isn't. everything in WoD & GURPS is a skill. to quote apple computers "there's a app skill for that". in WoD you can spend your XP entirely in your skills and totally ignore your combat abilities or vice versa. in D&D XP is accumulated & "spent" at specific intervals that have a set amount of bonuses while leaving it a bit open for variation.

but D&D is not a skill based game. if i wanted to i could make a 100pt character in gurps who put all his points into Fishing. he'll probably be the most epic fisherman ever but that's it. the same to an extent in WoD (though WoD has a hard cap on skill levels). in D&D to become a better fisherman you need to kill goblins until you level up at which point you become an even better murderer, a better fisherman & a better underwater basket weaver and also a better... innkeep?

this isn't a gripe about D&D, but one about level-based games. it's a bit of a pain but it's something i'm willing to overlook since level based games tend to handle pre-made archetypes with greater ease then a skill-based game (though the former allows for a more organic growth into the archetype, it effectively requires you to create a template of sorts)

Kylarra
2010-03-07, 07:09 PM
Yeah, but some backgrounds are actually good, like double multiclassing or w/e.There are always opportunity costs regardless of what you do. Windrose ports are often cited, but less often are they allowed. It's great in theory, the DMs I play with don't allow any backgrounds other than the standard +2/add to the skill list ones, so it's not even that much of an opportunity cost.

Sure the skill system is flawed, but at least as far as 4e is concerned, your specific complaint is rather well covered.

ericgrau
2010-03-07, 07:10 PM
I mean, I know this ain't GURPS, but jesus. Why can't my Fighter know something about the gods without blowing a feat (4e) or sucking at it (3.5e)? Oh, I'm sorry, I wanted to roleplay a deeply religious warrior who nonetheless is not directly blessed by his God/moral compass. I guess I can't, because fighters are "teh dum." Seriously, what is this crap? It's not like it has a real effect on gameplay. "Oh, good, Johnny the Cleric knows about the Arian heresy. That'll be real useful when we're fighting a million billion goblins."

Lazy DMs who disregard the rules. Flavorful untrained and cross-class checks are super low DC, but DMs tend to make up DCs on the fly. You need the hardest to know information for even a DC 20-30 check. The common info you want is DC 10-15. As for devotion to a god, it has no mechanics. But if you do want to be a supreme expert like a cleric or paladin, all it takes is a one level dip. Gotta train with the best to know the deepest secrets, I guess. 4e oversimplifies your selection a bit but you can still make fairly decent checks on skills you don't have. I think there are podcasts with suggestions to give a minor bonus for anything involving someone's background.



For that matter, why are "actually useful" skills always bunched in with "not actually useful" skills? Spot or Religion? Hmm, which would be more useful for running around in dark dungeons?

Religion is far more useful because it gives you life-saving information about the undead. Spot is fairly useless in a dungeon with a good light source around because there's very little to hide behind (you're not even allowed to roll hide without some brush or dim light or so on) and because encounter distances are very close. The DC otherwise is typically zero or else you don't even need to make a check. Again, lazy DMs who make up their own rules and then complain about them.


nWoD is pretty good about this, but you still wind up with choices like "Politics or Occult ?
I've noticed similar problems in nWoD but I don't know enough about the system to know if it's from players or the books. I do know that the organization in the books annoys me to no end.

erikun
2010-03-07, 07:10 PM
I agree that 4e handles this better. A single background or feat (which are quite common) will get you the religious knowledge you request, and it makes sense that the character would not have Weapon Expertise at level 1 if he spent large amounts of time in church studying the various faiths and deities. No, it's not as reasonable as World of Darkness or GURPS where you can just choose to be skilled in religion, but it's reasonably easy to acquire the skill.

D&D 3.5e is a bit more difficult, between class skills and skill points and the whole trying to implement a skill-based system on the inside of a level-based system. They multiple feats don't really help much, as they just end up requiring select races or classes to get the skills you'd like. You shouldn't need to design a five-level build just for "sword swinger who is knowledgable in religion". (Of course, you could just play a cleric... but almost everything could be played as a cleric.)

Sinfire Titan
2010-03-07, 07:15 PM
(3.5) OK, here's the difference:

Everyone knows about Mind Flayers. What they generally look like, their Mind Blast, the fact that they eat brains. This requires a DC 10 Int check (which you can just take 10 on).


But you don't know of the various differences between each species of Mind Flayer. The average Commoner would never know about a Shadow Flayer (MM5), or about it's ability to turn invisible. To them, they would just seem like a standard Mind Flayer. Hell, if that was the first one the Commoner has ever seen, the commoner may assume all Mind Flayers are like that one.


Similarly, your Fighter knows of the various Gods. He knows that Vecna is a Lich who is missing a hand and an eye (though he may not know which one). He also knows a generalization of the deity's portfolio.

What he doesn't know are the fine details, like the reason WHY Kas betrayed Vecna (very few would without a high DC Knowledge check). Most people would know about Pelor, but only the astute would know what spells he typically prepares.


And now for a more basic version: The average Commoner cannot tell the mechanical difference between a Dwarf and an Elf, but is able to tell the two apart on basic lore. He may never know that there's a subspecies of Elf that excels at Arcane spellcasting (Grey Elf), or that a particular breed of Dwarf is resistant to Fire (see Dragon Magic).


Famous things require no rolls. Details regarding those things do require rolls and ranks.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-03-07, 07:23 PM
Rule 0 is no excuse for bad game design. Good day.

Actually, considering that Rule 0 is specifically about tailoring the game to your groups specific needs and making individual decisions, I'd say it is an excuse for having a skill system that takes rather cliche class roles into account. It's not BAD game design...instead, it's a game design choice you don't personally agree with.

If it is bad game design, we then have to argue about how the Rogue is better at dodging explosions than my higher dexterity swashbuckling Fighter, or why my Ranger doesn't get better at fighting when angry, but the Barbarian does. I could name numerous other things here, but will refrain from doing so. If multiclassing (one of the only solutions aside from rule 0) is the answer to those questions (or feats are the answer), than the same answers suffice for your question.

Rule 0 is put in their for people whose expectations differ from the designer's intents. Their intents were to have classes that filled specific roles, and the skills were chosen to fit those roles, not to offer a myriad of role-playing options. That's your cut-and-dry reason. Rule 0 was included for people like you to tweak the rules to fit your desires.

Next time, be a little more polite with your response, my good man. I was only trying to suggest a solution to your problem, and was none to thrilled to receive such a curt reply.

Starscream
2010-03-07, 07:26 PM
Never an issue in my games. I use a modified version of the Tier system.

Tier 1 classes can Gestalt with expert, warrior, or aristocrat. Tier 2s with any Tier 6 class, Tier 3s with any Tier 5 class, Tier 4s with any other Tier 4 class.

So there are plenty of ways for fighters to get more skills points and class skills.

qcontinuum
2010-03-07, 07:27 PM
Pathfinder is the first d20-based game that I've found that does class/cross-class skills right (imo). With PF, the only difference between a class skill and a cross-class skill is that when you put any ranks into a class skill you get a +3 static bonus to the skill. This means that the well-informed priest who went to seminary (Cleric) is always at least a bit better than the well-informed layperson (Fighter), without making a pious fighter's investment in Knowledge(Religion) mechanically worthless. Furthermore, since one point always equals one rank, you don't have to worry about planning your "fighter skill points" vs "cleric skill points" if you want to make a multi-class character.

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-07, 07:29 PM
Let me put it this way: Being religious and knowing things about religion are two completely different things.
Skill points allocated are the difference between believing in god, and knowing the last 20 popes. You can know the stories, you can know the hymns, know the goals and ideas of your religion, know the duties of the worshiper. But to know the priestly duties? to know the depth and history of the church, to know the who's in charge at a church that's a hundred miles from the church that you were brought up? That is what you have skill points for.

Fighters were trained to fight, not to be priests and tend to the clerical duties of a church.

And this is also the difference between spotting and listening on instinct (wisdom check) and doing it because you practiced and honed the skill of keeping a wide range of vision and an eye for detail and the subtle nuances of noises. Again the difference between "Something's there" and "There's a quadruped running away from us"

Roderick_BR
2010-03-07, 07:37 PM
A DM that denies you basic knowledge because you didn't put points in it is simply a bad DM. In my case, my fighter once walked 30 ft into the jungle in front of his house where he lived all his life and got lost, because I didn't buy Knowledge (local).

Skill ranks and checks should only be needed when you need VERY specific stuff, in the same way that not having ranks in Spot doesn't make you blind (check the OotS comics for a parody on that).

Cartesian Demon
2010-03-07, 07:37 PM
Let me put it this way: Being religious and knowing things about religion are two completely different things.
Skill points allocated are the difference between believing in god, and knowing the last 20 popes. You can know the stories, you can know the hymns, know the goals and ideas of your religion, know the duties of the worshiper. But to know the priestly duties? to know the depth and history of the church, to know the who's in charge at a church that's a hundred miles from the church that you were brought up? That is what you have skill points for.

Fighters were trained to fight, not to be priests and tend to the clerical duties of a church.This fighter dude knows his ****. He knows every heretical - from - in the West to - in the East. He knows every heresy from the - to the progressive -. Every slice of - thought (all the sides) on everything from - to the -. He is an expert, just ask him.

editted to remove real world religious references.

JoshuaZ
2010-03-07, 07:39 PM
This fighter dude knows his ****. He knows every heretical Christian from Joseph Smith in the West to Hong Xiuquan in the East. He knows every heresy from the Gnostics to the progressive dispensationalists. Every slice of Catholic thought (all the sides) on everything from Chinese ancestor worship to the Nicene Creed. He is an expert, just ask him.

If you absolutely insist on no rule zero or houseruling then take a level or two in crusader. Fits the intended fluff very well. And unlike a fighter you might actually matter in combat after a few levels.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-03-07, 07:41 PM
Cartesian, since you apparently missed my last post on the design intent of 3.0/3.5/4e and the inclusion of rule 0, I suggest you look up a few posts.

Kylarra
2010-03-07, 07:43 PM
For 3.5, you could take the apprentice (philosopher) feat. It seems like the sort of thing that would represent that sort of dedication to learning about religion.

lesser_minion
2010-03-07, 07:49 PM
This fighter dude knows his ****. He knows every heretical - from - in the West to - in the East. He knows every heresy from the - to the progressive -. Every slice of - thought (all the sides) on everything from - to the -. He is an expert, just ask him.

editted to remove real world religious references.

Nice goalpost move. No, you can't make a character who is assumed to lack academic training into a religious expert on par with somebody who has studied religion for his entire life.

How did he even come to learn all of this? The rules explicitly cater to what the designers expect. The game doesn't 'suck' because you cannot play one very specific character without modifying a rule. Especially not one very specific character who clearly falls out of the scope of the class that you are trying to shoehorn him into.

Finally, in a world where true faith clearly and obviously manifests itself as exotic powers, why does this character have to not have any? I don't see how it's reasonable to assume that someone who apparently went to so much effort hasn't received any direct blessing from the gods of the campaign setting - at least not one that follows the standard assumptions.

Beelzebub1111
2010-03-07, 07:50 PM
This fighter dude knows his ****. He knows every heretical - from - in the West to - in the East. He knows every heresy from the - to the progressive -. Every slice of - thought (all the sides) on everything from - to the -. He is an expert, just ask him.

editted to remove real world religious references.

umm...dude, that's WAY unreasonable. Real priests don't know that much. This sounds a bit much like using back-story to power-game. Also, My Troll senses are tingling.

@Roderick_BR
Of course you know about the ways around your home, it's assumed. knowledge local isn't just where you're from. It's of where you happen to be at the time.

AgentPaper
2010-03-07, 07:51 PM
This fighter dude knows his ****. He knows every heretical - from - in the West to - in the East. He knows every heresy from the - to the progressive -. Every slice of - thought (all the sides) on everything from - to the -. He is an expert, just ask him.

editted to remove real world religious references.

They don't teach that in swordplay school. Too busy teaching, you know, swordplay and such. Either your guy decided to spend much of his free time reading religious books (took a feat to train religion) or he came from a place that was deeply religious, and so even the lowly grunt soldiers are taught scripture. (background: somewhere that nets you religion as a class skill)

Not that you need to be trained in Religion to be deeply religious.

JoshuaZ
2010-03-07, 07:52 PM
Not that you need to be trained in Religion to be deeply religious.

Indeed, often quite the opposite.

Tiki Snakes
2010-03-07, 07:55 PM
Going to repeat the 'this is what backgrounds are for' thing. If it's not important enough to take the background, then it's not important enough for the character for all this sillyness.

ALSO, skills like religion, Arcana, etc can often be picked up through Multiclass feats quite often. Multiclass feats are good enough that most builds will end up with one, in my experience.

Complaining that there are 'better' Backgrounds is disengenous, because that is an optimising concern, not really one about the skill system or themeatic building.

Demons_eye
2010-03-07, 07:58 PM
This fighter dude knows his ****. He knows every heretical - from - in the West to - in the East. He knows every heresy from the - to the progressive -. Every slice of - thought (all the sides) on everything from - to the -. He is an expert, just ask him.

editted to remove real world religious references.

If you wrote in your background that you had a special sword that killed anyone with one hit would you expect to have that sword when you started? If you write it in you background that you know something then unless the DM gives you a bonus for a good background you have to make it mechanical like you wrote it. This means spending a few points on cross skills or even dipping as it even makes more sense to do so. As said above rule zero is a good way around this.

erikun
2010-03-07, 08:02 PM
Going to repeat the 'this is what backgrounds are for' thing. If it's not important enough to take the background, then it's not important enough for the character for all this sillyness.
I have to agree with this. Backgrounds, feats, and even multiclassing can get you what you want. If your entire 30-level build does not allow for even a single feat to be placed in Skill Training: Religion, then it seems your character is so focused on their combat that the don't have time to be studying religious texts.

And to be fair, GURPS is no different. You're just spending points of the Religion skill rather than some other part of your character. I'm not sure how "spend points on Religion rather than other aspects of my character" in GURPS is any different than "spend feats on Religion rather than other aspects of my character" in 4e.

Draxar
2010-03-07, 08:02 PM
Broadly I would say that the issues are a result of the seperation between church and state combat and non-combat. By making the two so strongly seperate, and having a game which is more about beating/blowing the crap out of people than it is other stuff, the skill system suffers.

In games where combat primarily uses the same mechanics you use for everything else, like in n/o WoD or Exalted the Attribute + Ability thing, you get a stronger skill system, and a more integrated one.

Kelb_Panthera
2010-03-07, 08:03 PM
Or take the feat Education. Suddenly all knowledge skills are class skills.

Edit: Wow, ninja'd to hell and back. My suggestion was a 3.5 suggestion btw.

BRC
2010-03-07, 08:14 PM
Because DnD is about playing premade Archtypes, Wizards are supposed to be detached academics. Fighter's are supposed to be dumb beatsticks, Barbarians are supposed to be raging savages, Rogues are supposed to be crafty scoundrels, ect ect.
Really, the way I see it, the classes are primarily a collection of mechanics. I should be able to strip all the fluff away from a class and refluff it however I please. A Barbarian is just a fighter with anger management issues, a rouge is anybody with alot of skills who fight's smart, whether or not they're the classic "Stealthy thief with a knife". Now a rogue getting lots of skillpoints and class skills makes sense, because part of their mechanical role is as a skillmonkey.

IMO, all classes should get Spot and Listen as class skills, same with all Knowledge skills (Since what knowledge they have is part of a character's backstory, which is made by the player), same with all craft skills and profession skills (Which is already there). At the very least, it should be "Pick X knowledge skills to be class skills".

If I want my fighter to be the son of a duke, I shouldn't need to spend a feat/get cross class ranks for knowledge Nobility and Royalty as punishment for not playing Regdar.

oxybe
2010-03-07, 08:21 PM
actually, by not playing Regdar, you win at fighter.

i mean seriously have you seen the front/back cover of Heroes of Horror, and the 4th ed "raise dead" artwork

Regdar seems to get messed up pretty often.

poor guy should've been a wizard.

Roland St. Jude
2010-03-07, 08:41 PM
Sheriff of Moddingham: When you feel you're being trolled, post reports are helpful, not responding is also very helpful. Thread locked.