View Full Version : Alternative d20 skills system

2006-11-25, 11:48 AM
All skills are capped at your character level+3.

Characters gain a "class" bonus of +1 to all class skills from the class in question when they gain a level, free. This bonus accumulates. So a L 2 rogue has a +2 "class" bonus to every class skill the rogue has.

A L 1 rogue L 1 fighter has +1 compitence to rogue skills and +1 "class" bonus to fighter skills. These bonus's go "over the cap" of your skill.

Players gain skill points as they did before. Players may spend skill points on either class or cross-class skills, and both cost 1 point per 1 point of skill upgrade. The only difference between class and cross-class skills is you don't get a free "class" bonus to cross-class skills.

Each skill is modified by either twice one stat, or two different stats. (DM's call -- by default, just double the existing stat).

DCs of all skills are doubled.

Skill checks consists of rolling 2d20 + Modified skill.

Magical bonuses to skills are doubled.

NPCs and Monsters with skills have their skill values doubled (if you are lazy -- if you are keen, and they have class levels, you can work out how they would change).

"Take 10/20": replaced with "Take 20/40". Taking 40 takes 40 times as long instead of 20 times as long.

Optional: repeated attempts.
If the problem is one in which you can learn from failure, when re-attempting you can keep the higher of the two dice and reroll the other.

This makes the time to get a 40 from repeated attempts about 40 attempts. (otherwise it takes 400 attempts).

This has a neat progressive nature. And some cute questions like "do I keep a 19, or keep double-rolling and hoping for a 20..."

Effect of changes:

I doubled the size of skill points to remove fractions.

Mathematically, if you want to compare to the old system, halve all the values. I'll do this to make it easier to understand.

I basically gave every character 1/2 a point free "above the cap" in every class skill, gave class and cross-class skills the same cap, then set the cost of buying any skill to 1 point per +1/2.

So now the order in which you take levels matters less to your skill caps. Any skill you can train costs you 1 point per upgrade. Taking levels in "skill monkey" classes helps more -- because it boosts your competence bonus in more skills.

Oh, and dumb warriors are able to swim and jump with at least some competence. ;)


If you don't like the idea of rolling 2d20 and adding them, you could just roll 1d20 + skill for the character and 1d20 + (DC-10) for the difficulty. It works out to be just about the same as rolling 2d20+skill vs DC*2.

I, however, find adding up 2d20 easier than making two seperate rolls. :)

2006-11-26, 08:18 AM
Any way you might tweak this so that it doesn't break the basic premise of the d20 system? Making 2d20 rolls just isn't kosher. And making two separate d20 rolls is (as you say) a pain.

2006-11-26, 04:07 PM
you can just use the skills variant from the unearthed arcana book.

2006-11-26, 05:11 PM
If you halve every number, it works with 1d20.

This means you are working with fractions all of the time.

Ie: 1 skill point gives you +1/2 to a skill.
Every class level gives you +1/2 points to every class skill.
Having a skill as a class skill gives you +1.
Cap on spent points is (5+level)/2.


Note that rolling d20 for the difficulty and d20 for the skill is in the PHB as an alternative rule. That happens to be isomorphic to 2d20 vs (DC*2).

So rolling 2d20 isn't far away from d20 anyhow. Remember that every attack involves 2 rolls - to hit and damage. :)