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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Book-Learnin' - Extended Knowledge Rules (PEACH)



SirKazum
2015-02-12, 10:00 AM
From Gandalf researching the history of the One Ring to Harry Potter and his pals trying to figure out what a horcrux is, poring over old tomes to find arcane knowledge and shed light on obscure questions is a long-established tradition of fantasy. However, the Knowledge skill(s) as presented in D&D seems rather unsatisfying as a means to portray the search for answers to esoteric quandaries.

Under the existing rules (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/knowledge.htm), making a Knowledge check is "not an action" - you either know the answer, or you don't. Simple as that. You don't research it, you don't discuss it with friends, technically you don't even sit and ponder about the answer (although of course you could do that as a matter of roleplaying) - you just know what you know. While that's rather practical - whenever something comes up, you can react to it armed with the appropriate knowledge immediately - it's rather poor in roleplaying possibilities. Besides, the nature of the Knowledge check means you can't take 10 or 20 - since there's no action to be taken carefully, and you can't try again - and I don't see how you could "aid other" under common rules, since Knowledge checks are resolved before anyone has any chance to interfere. Nor could a character ever get a +2 circumstance bonus from having the appropriate equipment, since nothing but the character's brain is involved in a Knowledge check. You're pretty much stuck with a single roll of d20 + your regular skill bonus, there's nothing you can do to improve that if something important is on the line.

These extended rules are meant to provide opportunities to both improve one's chances to succeed at a Knowledge check (by taking 10, taking 20 and qualifying for bonuses), and bring the trope of researching obscure knowledge in ancient tomes into the game in a significant way that has practical effects. These rules are meant to supplement the existing rules on the Knowledge skill, not replace them; in other words, under these homebrew rules, everything the books say about this skill in 3.x D&D still applies, but there are also additional ways to use the skill.


Sharing Knowledge

The simplest measure one can take to improve one's chances at finding the answer to a particular question is discussing it with one's peers, and taking advantage of their input to help jog things that might lay forgotten in your mind. In practical terms, this means that, whenever a Knowledge check is called for, the character in question can choose to delay that check until after a short discussion of the subject matter has been held. This discussion takes 1 round for DC 10 checks, and one additional round for each 5 DC points above 10 (rounded up); however, since talking is a free action, characters do not need to expend actions to hold this discussion. They just need to be able to talk to one another. After the specified number of rounds have passed, on the turn of the character that's going to use the skill, each colleague involved in the discussion makes a DC 10 Knowledge check, as per Aid Another rules. If at least one such check is successful, the "main" Knowledge check gets a +2 circumstance bonus (bonuses are not cumulative for multiple aiding characters).

There is one restriction, though: as per Aid Another (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm#aidAnother) rules, "you canít aid another to grant a bonus to a task that your character couldnít achieve alone", which means characters without ranks in the relevant Knowledge skill can't aid in checks above DC 10.

Also, optionally, to avoid abuse of "Aid Another", when aiding characters with difficult checks (DC 20 and above), the DM may increase the DC of the check made by aiding characters - 10 less than the DC of the "main" check (minimum DC 10) is a reasonable rule.

Characters can also "Aid Another" with checks done through research (see below), but in this case, they must do research of their own using the same time and resource level as those employed in the main check. In most cases, this means simply accompanying the skill user to the same library and helping them by checking other books while they read.


The Library

The crux of the Knowledge research rules is the library. There are varying levels of resources that can be consulted during research, ranging from a single, superficial book to enormous libraries containing thousands and thousands of volumes. For the sake of simplicity, libraries are organized in categories corresponding to the Knowledge check DC they can aid in.

While you can research in a library of a higher category than that required by the check (gaining a circumstance bonus for it), researching in libraries whose category corresponds to a lower DC has no effect (the Knowledge check is made normally, as if there were no research). For DCs that are not multiples of 5, the immediately higher category should be used (for example, when consulting to answer a DC 22 question, a library appropriate to DC 25 checks is required).

DC 10: Such common knowledge is generally available in most tomes that deal with the question's subject matter. Therefore, a single book (worth 10-20 gp) on the general subject, usually corresponding to a Knowledge category (e.g. Arcana, History and so on), or also on some other subject that applies to the question (such as a given kingdom, race, occupation and so on), is sufficient. A library that suffices for DC 10 questions on all subjects is worth about 100-150 gp and fills a single shelf. Base research time: 1d4 x 5 minutes.

DC 15: This knowledge is a bit more specific, requiring more care in selecting one's research material. A single book on the specific topic of the question (e.g. the history of a given kingdom during a specific period, the myths of one given religion, a specific monster) should be enough - however, since it's rare to just have such a book on hand, the resources required usually correspond to a small stack of books (about a half dozen) on a more general subject, worth 50-100 gp. A library that can handle all DC 15 questions is worth about 600-800 gp and fills a bookcase or two. Base research time: 2d6 x 10 minutes.

DC 20: Delving into more obscure knowledge, one requires digging through a large number of tomes, some of which highly technical and specialized. A library that can answer DC 20 questions on a single subject (corresponding to one of the Knowledge categories, or a correspondingly broad subject such as a kingdom, race, occupation etc.) fills at least a couple bookcases and is worth 500-1000 gp; a comprehensive library of this level fills a large room and is worth 6,000-8,000 gp. Base research time: 2d6 hours.

DC 25: Such highly specialized knowledge requires vast resources indeed. A large room full of books (6,000-8,000 gp) is required for this level of knowledge on a single broad subject, and a library that fills at least a medium-sized building (50,000-80,000 gp in books alone) answers all DC 25 questions. Base research time: 1d6 days.

DC 30: This type of library holds even the most arcane and scarcely-remembered lore, and is the highest category of library generally available (higher-DC libraries should be quite exceptional, generally reserved for outer-planar locations and other such extraordinary circumstances). Libraries of this level fill large buildings, and are generally sought by scholars from distant lands in search of knowledge. 60,000-100,000 gp worth of books for a single broad subject, and many hundreds of thousands of GP (up to a million or more) for a fully comprehensive library, equivalent to the Library of Alexandria. Base research time: 2d6 days.


Conducting Research

In place of simply making a Knowledge check when a question comes up to see if they know the answer, characters may choose to research that answer in a book or library to improve their chances of success. Research involves getting a hold of the necessary resources (either by acquiring books or visiting a library) and studying them for the appropriate time, which of course involves reading the books (so literacy and proficiency in the language they're written in is required). Research also necessitates a certain amount of peace and quiet - basically, anything that would prevent a character from taking 10 in skills also prevents them from conducting research. When the research extends across multiple days (either due to the type of library researched or due to taking 20), characters can study for no more than 8 hours a day; extra study time is wasted, as the researcher's concentration falters. The Knowledge check is made at the end of the research period, when answers are revealed to the researcher.

The most common reason to research is taking 10 in a Knowledge skill. To do that, a character simply conducts research in a book or library appropriate to the skill check DC and to the question's subject matter, spending the listed base research time.

If a character does their research in a library of a higher category (for example, researching in a DC 20 library to answer a DC 15 question), the Knowledge check has a +2 circumstance bonus for using the best possible equipment. Regardless of how good the library is, though, the circumstance bonus from using a better library than required is never higher than +2. The base research time is tied to the category of library used (so, in the above example, the base time needed to research a DC 15 question in a DC 20 library is 2d6 hours). You can always use a library as if it were of a lower category (for example, using a DC 25 library as if it were of the DC 20 type) to save on research time, by simply focusing on the appropriate books or section.

Characters can also take 20 on Knowledge skill checks by spending 20 times the average base research time on an appropriate library.

As stated above on "Sharing Knowledge", fellow characters can use the Aid Another action to aid a research-based Knowledge check, by researching in a library of the same category (usually the same library) and communicating with the character who's doing the main check during the process.

Characters without ranks in the appropriate Knowledge skill can also benefit from books, but only for answering DC 10 questions. For such characters, the base research time is increased to that of the next category (so 2d6 x 10 minutes to research using DC 10 resources, or 2d6 hours to research with DC 15 resources for a +2 circumstance bonus).

SirKazum
2015-02-12, 10:01 AM
Knowledge-related Resources

Feat: Speed Reading
Prerequisite: Int 13, must not be illiterate
Benefit: You can read any text in half the normal time required. Research times (for research-based Knowledge checks) are halved, as is the time required to use the Decipher Script skill. However, this feat does not affect the time required to decipher magical writings or use scrolls.


Feat: Erudite
Prerequisite: Int 13
Benefit: Choose one specific Knowledge skill. You get a +2 bonus on all checks for the chosen skill, and a +1 bonus on all other Knowledge checks. Also, you can use all Knowledge skills as if you had ranks in them, even when you don't (for instance, to make checks over DC 10 or aid characters on such checks).
Special: You can gain Erudite multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, choose a new Knowledge skill to gain a +2 bonus to (which does not stack with the +1 bonus to all Knowledge skills).


Wondrous Magic Item: Compendium of Comprehensive Scholarship
This hefty book at first glance appears to be a common academic treatise; however, upon perusing it, its magical properties become apparent: the words on its pages change when not looked at, reflecting whichever subject the reader is thinking about. Its magic allows academic knowledge about a single subject to be drawn into the book and consulted endlessly by flipping its pages back and forth.

Each Compendium of Comprehensive Scholarship is made to produce knowledge about one given field of study (corresponding to one of the Knowledge sub-skills). It can be used for research, as a library of any size the user desires, depending only on the time the user spends thumbing and reading it, as long as the topic pertains to the book's area of expertise. When researching through this book, the Knowledge check is made with a +10 competence bonus. Only one character may benefit from a given Compendium of Comprehensive Scholarship at a time.

Moderate divination; CL 10th; Craft Wondrous Item, legend lore, the creator must have 10 ranks in the relevant Knowledge skill; Price 10,000 gp; Weight 5 lb.


Wondrous Magic Item: Tome of Fabulous Chronicles
This large tome functions in a similar way to a compendium of comprehensive scholarship, changing its words in pages that are not being displayed at the moment to convey facts about a topic its reader concentrates on; however, the difference is in its subject matter. The Tome of Fabulous Chronicles shows not academic information, but rather stories, rumors, legends and even songs about heroes, deeds, locations, items and other things of the present and past.

In practical terms, this item allows the user to replicate the effects of the legend lore spell, by perusing the book during a time equivalent to the spell's casting time under the same circumstances. The same restrictions that apply to the casting of legend lore also apply to using this book, except that instead of casting, the user flips through and reads the book.

Moderate divination; CL 11th; Craft Wondrous Item, legend lore; Price 39,100 gp; Weight 5 lb.


Artifact: Book of Wykhee
This legendary manuscript is rumored to have been handed down from the gods themselves, to allow mortals a slight glimpse of the infinite knowledge they possess. Whether it came as a blessing or a curse is a matter of heated debate, however.

This book is entirely written in the Celestial language, so users must be proficient in it. It functions in a rather similar way to the magical books described above (and was likely what inspired their creation); its writings change when not directly looked at, by flipping through the book and focusing on a particular question or topic. However, the information contained within is entirely boundless; every single question whose answer has ever been known by even a single mortal being (any creature that is not a deity) can be answered by this book. Even facts about things yet to come are contained within, for its powerful magic reaches across all space and time.

In order to use this artifact, a character need only flip through its pages and read the occasional snippet, which gives the user an instinctive knowledge of where to flip to next. After perusing the tome this way for 1d6 hours, the user is entitled to a normal Knowledge check appropriate to the question - when using this book, even characters without ranks in the relevant skill may attempt checks with any DC. If the check succeeds, the character learns information as usual. If the check fails, however, the user still gleans just enough snippets to allow him or her to research a little deeper, and can continue reading the book. After doing so for another 1d6 hours, the user makes another Knowledge check, this time with a +5 bonus. If that second check fails, the character can keep trying for another 1d6 hours, making a check at a +10 bonus at the end of that period. And so on, endlessly - as long as the user keeps reading, for each additional 1d6 hours spent at the Book of Wykhee, the bonus to the Knowledge check made at the end increases by another +5. There is no upper limit to this bonus - after all, as said before, the answer to all questions can be found in the Book of Wykhee... sooner or later. While studying this book, a character may pause for routine activities such as eating and sleeping, but may not stop reading more than the bare minimum time necessary for such subsistence actions, nor do anything that requires concentration or diverts his or her attention from the book, at the penalty of having to start over with a +0 bonus.

For questions not adequately covered by any existing Knowledge skill, use an Intelligence check with the same DC the question would have if it were a Knowledge check. Information that has never become publicly known (and, therefore, that would be impossible to glean via Knowledge checks under normal circumstances) has a DC modifier between +5 and +20, depending on how closely guarded it has been. For information pertaining to the future (or information that will become known to mortals only in the future), the DC is increased accordingly to how long in the future that information is:

up to 1 week: +5
up to 1 month: +10
up to 1 year: +15
up to 10 years: +20
up to 100 years: +25
Each additional 100 years: +5

For all its usefulness, the Book of Wykhee does present considerable dangers. While some claim it has a curse lain on it by the gods, jealous that mortals might equal them in knowledge, others suspect its perils arise simply due to the irresistible allure that endless information has on the inquisitive mind. At the end of each 1d6-hour period of study, the user must make a Will saving throw to avoid being consumed by an irresistible urge to read more and more. The DC for this saving throw is 10 for the first period, +2 for each consecutive period. Any character who fails that save becomes so engrossed in the book that he or she is unable to do anything other than continue reading, foregoing food, sleep, and all other concerns. The character reads for another 1d6 hours, at the end of which another save can be made at the same DC to shake off this effect; if this save is failed, the character not only continues obsessively reading for another 1d6 hours, but also suffers 1 point of Wisdom drain as his or her sanity is slowly eroded by this obsession. When reading compulsively, there is no progress in the research, and therefore no knowledge check is made at the end of the period; however, the progress obtained so far is not lost, and if the user manages to go back to normal research, the bonus to the check made at the end continues the progression from the last check. Aside from the Wisdom drain, obsessive reading is dangerous as it can make the user starve to death and ignore threats to his or her safety.

When using the Book of Wykhee more than once in a 24-hour period, Will saves start at the same DC as the last save made. If the book is used more than 24 hours but less than one week after its last usage, the first Will save's DC is raised by 2 for every 4 points above 10 in the last save made (e.g. if the last save was at DC 18, the first save when the book is used again is at DC 14). Waiting more than one week to use the book again resets the save DC to 10.

nonsi
2015-02-12, 04:24 PM
This is a brilliant piece of work :smallcool:
For a long time I tried to figure out how to handle Knowledge to make its usage more realistic and thematic, but was never inspired how to handle it.
You have done a marvelous jub here and I'm gonna reference it in my 3.5e overhaul codex as a useful external source.

Just one thing: I don't think it matters when someone makes the check. Someone might fail but succeed later on with all the modifiers - the check just indicates the value of the knowledge they possess on the subject.

JaminDM
2015-02-12, 06:47 PM
Very nice.

SirKazum
2015-02-13, 06:14 AM
Thank you! :smallsmile:

I included that bit about the Knowledge check being made at the end for the rules-lawyers in the audience. You never know how people might want to abuse this rule, or what side effects may come from a poorly-worded or vague ruling.

Any thoughts on the crunch of it though? Do the gp values and research times make sense? What about the magic items?

Altair_the_Vexed
2015-02-13, 07:06 AM
This is good work, but there's a simpler solution in d20 modern. (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/modern/smack/skillsorder.html#research)

johnbragg
2015-02-13, 08:52 AM
This is good work, but there's a simpler solution in d20 modern. (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/resources/systems/pennpaper/modern/smack/skillsorder.html#research)

Simpler, but SirKazum's is more flavorful, better for fantasy worldbuilding. Particularly in that it takes time. It makes sense for a d20 Modern game to have a definite success or failure in 1d4 hours, but D&D settings don't have Wikipedias (short of Tippyverse-type areas).

2nd Edition had Sage rules in the DMG. I'm putting them in for comparison--I like yours better. (You have the advantage of the general structure of the d20 system and 2 more decades of RPG evolution and development, but you still beat the published product, so kudos).


The Sage rolled a d20 check, lower is better, vs his/her ability score, modified by circumstances

General questions ("What types of beasts live in the Valley of Terror") required 1d6 hours, at -0 to the check
Specific questions ("Do medusae live in the Valley of Terror") required 1d6 days, at -2 to the check.
Exacting questions ("Does the medusa Erinyes live in the Valley of Terror") required 3d10 days at -4 to the check.
PCs can rush the Sage for a -4 penalty, moving up one category (3d10 days to 1d6 days or d6 days to d6 hours)
Partial libraries meant a -2, no library meant a -6.

Sages were limited to pretty specific areas.

nonsi
2015-02-14, 09:34 AM
Thank you! :smallsmile:

I included that bit about the Knowledge check being made at the end for the rules-lawyers in the audience. You never know how people might want to abuse this rule, or what side effects may come from a poorly-worded or vague ruling.

Any thoughts on the crunch of it though? Do the gp values and research times make sense? What about the magic items?

Well, there was this thing I was about to comment on the DC 15 prices, but you seem to have fixed the problem.

Personally, I couldn't care less about the actual prices.
The thing that bothers me is that the search times are fixed.
Most of one's library searches are meant for locating a specific piece of information, not to conduct an entire research.
Sometimes you stumble upon the information you were looking for quite early.
I'm usually in favor of using fixed numeric values, to save precious game time, but not in this case.

SirKazum
2015-02-15, 08:11 AM
Well, there was this thing I was about to comment on the DC 15 prices, but you seem to have fixed the problem.

Personally, I couldn't care less about the actual prices.
The thing that bothers me is that the search times are fixed.
Most of one's library searches are meant for locating a specific piece of information, not to conduct an entire research.
Sometimes you stumble upon the information you were looking for quite early.
I'm usually in favor of using fixed numeric values, to save precious game time, but not in this case.

So, you're saying, use dice-based rather than fixed research times? Hmm. I guess it does sounds more fitting, and certainly jives well with other examples such as sage rules and the Legend Lore spell. I made it that way to make it easier to figure out how to take 20, but I guess you could use 20x the average or something. I'll think about it.

johnbragg
2015-02-15, 08:17 AM
So, you're saying, use dice-based rather than fixed research times? Hmm. I guess it does sounds more fitting, and certainly jives well with other examples such as sage rules and the Legend Lore spell. I made it that way to make it easier to figure out how to take 20, but I guess you could use 20x the average or something. I'll think about it.

Conversion's not that hard. Item creation rules mandate an 8-hour limit on a wizard's workday, so....

DC 10, average time 10 minutes ~ 3d6 minutes, average 10.5
DC 15, average time 1 hour ~ 2d6 x 10 minutes, average 70 minutes
DC 20, average time 1 day ~ 2d6 hours (7 hours, 1 work day) or 3d6 hours (10.5 hours, 1.5 work days)
DC 25, average time 3 days ~ d4 or d6 days, average 2.5 or 3.5 (or 6d6 hours, average 21, 2.5 days and very few outlier results)
DC 30, average time 1 week ~ 2d6 days, average 7 days

nonsi
2015-02-15, 01:24 PM
Conversion's not that hard. Item creation rules mandate an 8-hour limit on a wizard's workday, so....

DC 10, average time 10 minutes ~ 3d6 minutes, average 10.5
DC 15, average time 1 hour ~ 2d6 x 10 minutes, average 70 minutes
DC 20, average time 1 day ~ 2d6 hours (7 hours, 1 work day) or 3d6 hours (10.5 hours, 1.5 work days)
DC 25, average time 3 days ~ d4 or d6 days, average 2.5 or 3.5 (or 6d6 hours, average 21, 2.5 days and very few outlier results)
DC 30, average time 1 week ~ 2d6 days, average 7 days

Yes, this could definitely work.
Now the next obvious thing is a Speed Read feat.

Zireael
2015-02-15, 01:32 PM
Speed Read? Something my alter ego would have.

Maybe:
Requirements: Int 15+
Benefit: Time to read is halved.

SirKazum
2015-02-15, 05:19 PM
Conversion's not that hard. Item creation rules mandate an 8-hour limit on a wizard's workday, so....

DC 10, average time 10 minutes ~ 3d6 minutes, average 10.5
DC 15, average time 1 hour ~ 2d6 x 10 minutes, average 70 minutes
DC 20, average time 1 day ~ 2d6 hours (7 hours, 1 work day) or 3d6 hours (10.5 hours, 1.5 work days)
DC 25, average time 3 days ~ d4 or d6 days, average 2.5 or 3.5 (or 6d6 hours, average 21, 2.5 days and very few outlier results)
DC 30, average time 1 week ~ 2d6 days, average 7 days

Sounds great! I'll revise it and edit my post later. The Speed Reading feat sounds good too, though I'd maybe reduce the Int requirement a bit - it's not like reducing reading times should be such a drastic advantage.

SirKazum
2015-02-16, 06:58 PM
OK, just changed the rules to make research times random, and added a couple feats to the second post. PEACH :smallbiggrin:

johnbragg
2015-02-16, 08:05 PM
The Erudite feat requires some thought. +2 to all Knowledge checks (10 listed in the SRD, including Knowledge:Local, plus more in splatbooks I'm sure) is better than the various "+2 to 2 skills" feats. On the other hand, those feats are underpowered.

Maybe require 5 ranks in 2 Knowledge skills? That way PCs don't take the feat instead of ranks in Knowledge skills?

It's much more versatile than "Skill Focus: Knowledge X" which would give a +3 to Knowledge X.

Or maybe just leave it as is. Let feats be useful.

SirKazum
2015-02-16, 10:27 PM
My rationale was that while, yes, it's a +2 to 10 skills (maybe even more, depending on sourcebooks) rather than the customary 2 skills, those are 10 tightly close-together skills whose application is largely restricted to similar situations. So the area of usefulness they cover is certainly a lot less broad than 10 other, random skills. Whether they effectively cover a much broader area than 2 unrelated skills is another thing... but then again, I figured, it's probably not common to have a single character be tightly focused in that many different Knowledge skills. Eh, I wasn't that sure about it, so I'd like to hear some more opinions on the matter...

edit: one thing I was considering was having the +2 bonus only go toward trained Knowledge skills. That way, characters with this feat still get something (other than the bonus from the ranks, of course) out of being trained in the relevant skill. Or - just thought about it now - maybe go the opposite way: rename this feat "Generalist" or something and capitalize on the idea of being good at untrained Knowledge skills: get +2 to untrained Knowledge skills, +1 to trained ones.

nonsi
2015-02-17, 02:01 AM
My rationale was that while, yes, it's a +2 to 10 skills (maybe even more, depending on sourcebooks) rather than the customary 2 skills, those are 10 tightly close-together skills whose application is largely restricted to similar situations. So the area of usefulness they cover is certainly a lot less broad than 10 other, random skills. Whether they effectively cover a much broader area than 2 unrelated skills is another thing... but then again, I figured, it's probably not common to have a single character be tightly focused in that many different Knowledge skills.


My thoughts exactly.





Eh, I wasn't that sure about it, so I'd like to hear some more opinions on the matter...


I'm ok with it.
At low levels, you don't have enough skill points to abuse it.
At high levels, if you don't put many skill points into various Knowledge skills, then the feat's benefit will probably not be enough to matter.





edit: one thing I was considering was having the +2 bonus only go toward trained Knowledge skills. That way, characters with this feat still get something (other than the bonus from the ranks, of course) out of being trained in the relevant skill. Or - just thought about it now - maybe go the opposite way: rename this feat "Generalist" or something and capitalize on the idea of being good at untrained Knowledge skills: get +2 to untrained Knowledge skills, +1 to trained ones.


Keep it as it is.
5% modifier hardly makes any difference (same goes for 10% difference for non-trained skills - especially as levels go up).
Think of it. Does Erudite come anywhere near to the more abuseable feats?




As for Speed Reading, I can see why it shouldn't speed up figuring out magical writings or use scrolls (you need to analyze and understand how to work out the spell's energies), but Decipher Script is mostly about putting the text into your head and drawing from your previous experience.

SirKazum
2015-02-17, 01:54 PM
As for Speed Reading, I can see why it shouldn't speed up figuring out magical writings or use scrolls (you need to analyze and understand how to work out the spell's energies), but Decipher Script is mostly about putting the text into your head and drawing from your previous experience.

I opted to be conservative... but then again, the time needed to use Decipher Script isn't exactly something that's going to make that much difference in a campaign. Yeah, I guess it makes sense to apply it there as well.

jqavins
2015-02-17, 02:38 PM
Great stuff. In the updates that made research time random, it seems you missed one: "The base research time is tied to the category of library used (so, in the above example, the base time needed to research a DC 15 question in a DC 20 library is 1 day."

Also, I have two thoughts for your consideration, a new skill and a slight modification to the Compendium of Comprehensive Scholarship. At first I was expecting a new skill, Resaerch, but after reading through all you wrote I don't know how to fit mechanics for such a skill into the mechanics you've got. Still, I feel there should be something. Being knowledgable in a subject is really not the same thing as being good at doing reasearch, the latter being a skill that is applicable to any knowledge area that you know something about. Perhaps the benefits of a library are only gained after a successful Research check? But that seems to nerf the whole thing. Perhaps the benefits of a library are increased after a successful Resaerch check?

Okay, how about this?

A successful Research check allows the character to use a library as if it were of a higher class than it actually is. The DC is 15 to increase the effective class of a library by one step, DC 20 to improve it by two steps, and DC 25 to increase it by 3 steps. No further improvemet is possible. The character must decide how many steps to try for before the check is made. The improvement can apply to both the minimum libray class for a research task and to gaining the circumstance bonus from a higher class than is needed. The skill does not effect the time required for research except as follows: the time required is the time to use a library of the increased class whether the Resaerch check is successful or not. So, for example, if the character attempts a Research check to use a DC 15 class library as if it were a DC 25 class library, the time required for the research is 1d6 days, no matter whether the check is successful or not.

Compendium of Comprehensive Scholarship: "It is not possible to... gain bonuses from bigger libraries..." Why not? If one is willing to spend the extra time with the book equivalent to the time in a higher DC library, why not get the +2? Maybe, if you're concerned that a total +12 is too much, make it a +8 competance bonus and the +2 more circumstance bonus if the extra time is taken. Also, "Iiiiiiiit's... Theuuuuuuuh... Great Big Book of Everything..." (I tried to find a good clip of the song on YouTube but there doesn't seem to be one.)

Debihuman
2015-02-17, 04:51 PM
Since research is skill based, would Aid Another help? Also being an Archivist or having Profession (Librarian) should also help.

Debby

johnbragg
2015-02-17, 05:17 PM
Since research is skill based, would Aid Another help? Also being an Archivist or having Profession (Librarian) should also help.

Debby

I think "Research" and "Profession (Librarian)" might be the same skill.

Debihuman
2015-02-17, 05:33 PM
I missed this:
Characters can also "Aid Another" with checks done through research (see below), but in this case, they must do research of their own using the same time and resource level as those employed in the main check. In most cases, this means simply accompanying the skill user to the same library and helping them by checking other books while they read.

So my question is half answered. Yes, sort of. While I can appreciate how well-thought out this all is (and I may use parts of it), the problem is that is very time consuming. One PC spends 1d4 days doing research while the rest of the party does what? I hate splitting up the party and frankly they'd be better off asking an NPC librarian to do the research for a fee of course.

Debby

jqavins
2015-02-17, 05:52 PM
I think "Research" and "Profession (Librarian)" might be the same skill.
Remember that the profession skills are not the same as the key skills for performing the professions' work. Cooking, for example, woud be one skill while Profession: Chef would be things like creating and costing a menu, budgeting for ingredients, managing a kitchen staff, etc. Likewise, Research and Profession: Librarian would not be the same thing at all.

SirKazum
2015-02-18, 12:47 PM
Great stuff. In the updates that made research time random, it seems you missed one: "The base research time is tied to the category of library used (so, in the above example, the base time needed to research a DC 15 question in a DC 20 library is 1 day."

Nice catch, thanks! Corrected it.


(snipped comments on a Research skill

While your solution sounds good, I think adding a Research skill might be complicating matters more than I'd like. You already need a big-ass library and lots of time to buff your Knowledge skill; needing ranks in yet another skill seems a bit much IMO. That may sacrifice a little in realism, but I personally think it's an acceptable sacrifice; just assume anyone with Knowledge ranks automatically knows his or her way around a library well enough to do effective research.


Compendium of Comprehensive Scholarship: "It is not possible to... gain bonuses from bigger libraries..." Why not? If one is willing to spend the extra time with the book equivalent to the time in a higher DC library, why not get the +2? Maybe, if you're concerned that a total +12 is too much, make it a +8 competance bonus and the +2 more circumstance bonus if the extra time is taken. Also, "Iiiiiiiit's... Theuuuuuuuh... Great Big Book of Everything..." (I tried to find a good clip of the song on YouTube but there doesn't seem to be one.)

I was concerned about abuse, but yeah, if you can use the CCS to replicate as many books in a given subject as you want, it doesn't make any sense to not get that +2 bonus if you're willing to spend that extra time at it. I guess I figured the magic powering the book draws just as much knowledge as you need, but I dunno. I'll mull it over.


(...)While I can appreciate how well-thought out this all is (and I may use parts of it), the problem is that is very time consuming. One PC spends 1d4 days doing research while the rest of the party does what? I hate splitting up the party and frankly they'd be better off asking an NPC librarian to do the research for a fee of course.

Debby

It's a downtime sort of activity, for when the party has plenty of time to kill, sort of like magic item creation, spell research and item crafting. It's not for everyone, but then again, even if you do adopt these rules, using them as described is entirely optional - you can still roll "straight" Knowledge checks in no time at all. You can reserve the time-consuming research for when it's really important (and you have the time), so you can take 10, take 20 or get a bonus.


Remember that the profession skills are not the same as the key skills for performing the professions' work. Cooking, for example, woud be one skill while Profession: Chef would be things like creating and costing a menu, budgeting for ingredients, managing a kitchen staff, etc. Likewise, Research and Profession: Librarian would not be the same thing at all.

Yeah, I agree that Research and Profession: Librarian should be entirely separate skills, and used in different situations - for instance, the Profession skill should be used to run, manage and upkeep a library (which is, incidentally, what librarians do most of the time), while Research is for research. Although, as I said, I don't favor there being a Research skill in D&D.

Deepbluediver
2015-02-18, 03:38 PM
I really like the idea of researching something. I might make it part of another skill though- the "knowledge is what you know" thing seems to be decently balanced to me for the moment.

I've been thinking about ways to rework the skills system, and one thing I wanted to do was replace "Appraise" with a skill that is more generally applicable, probably called "Analyze" or something like that. Making research a portion of that seems like a good fit.

Your ideas all seem like they would work fine in a normal game though.

jqavins
2015-02-18, 03:53 PM
While your solution sounds good, I think adding a Research skill might be complicating matters more than I'd like. You already need a big-ass library and lots of time to buff your Knowledge skill; needing ranks in yet another skill seems a bit much IMO. That may sacrifice a little in realism, but I personally think it's an acceptable sacrifice; just assume anyone with Knowledge ranks automatically knows his or her way around a library well enough to do effective research.
That's kind of what I said, after first thinking of requiring a Research skill then realizing that that would nerf your whole system too much, my suggestion was that the Research skill would make using a library better, but isn't required. I had one possible way to do that (making a library effectively bigger but costing time) and there could be others (like reducing the time needed to use a given library.)

All up to you though.

johnbragg
2015-02-19, 05:56 AM
Remember that the profession skills are not the same as the key skills for performing the professions' work. Cooking, for example, woud be one skill while Profession: Chef would be things like creating and costing a menu, budgeting for ingredients, managing a kitchen staff, etc. Likewise, Research and Profession: Librarian would not be the same thing at all.

This is true. Maybe "Profession (Academic)"? Your full-time or mostly-full-time job is to work through the archives and find the information--you're not the librarian, you're a frequent library client. You know what books are where, what information those books are likely to contain, and what other sources of information exist at other places that could be accessed in a situation of more-than-usual need?

It's a very NPC skill, unless you want to punish players for choosing Cloistered Cleric or Archivist, but crunch-wise you're spending 5 skill ranks for a +2 synergy bonus.

jqavins
2015-02-19, 08:18 AM
This is true. Maybe "Profession (Academic)"? Your full-time or mostly-full-time job is to work through the archives and find the information--you're not the librarian, you're a frequent library client. You know what books are where, what information those books are likely to contain, and what other sources of information exist at other places that could be accessed in a situation of more-than-usual need?

It's a very NPC skill, unless you want to punish players for choosing Cloistered Cleric or Archivist, but crunch-wise you're spending 5 skill ranks for a +2 synergy bonus.
Makes sense. And that's a perfect description of a reference librarian. (As opposed to a librarian in general or other specialty librarian functions.)