View Full Version : Training Based Skills [brainstorming]

2007-12-13, 06:20 AM
OK, so I've been messing around with the idea of using the Harnmaster skill development system in my 3.5 homebrew. It obviously doesn't work with a class/level system, but I've been working on a single class system anyway, so thats not a big deal.

The basic idea with the Harnmaster system is that you gain a fixed amount of XP each month in-game, which represents the time you spend each day practicing your skills. You can spend 10 XP to attempt to improve a skill, which is a percentage roll against your current skill level (trying to roll above your skill). Modifying that to d20 wouldn't be hard, as skills in harnmaster are 1d100, and skill training rolls are 1d100. So just scale to 1d20, and you're golden.

Here is a nebulous attempt to keep class and level in the system:

1) Make each school of magic a skill, and each discipline of manuevers, and each [category] of powers, etc. All of these need to be a skill.

1a) Actually, since each manuever is already tied to a skill, you could just use that skill. I also like the idea of using your discipline skill in place of an attack roll whenever using a discipline favored weapon to deliver a strike from that discipline. That might be too strong, but since you still wouldn't be able to parry* with your discipline skill, it might be alright.
*see 9

2) Gut the entire skill system, in terms of skill points and class skills.

3) A level 1 character gets a number of skills at level 1 equal to his previous skill points/level (including intelligence mod and human bonus).

4) There are no synergy bonuses to skill checks. Instead, synergy bonuses apply to skill training checks.

5) There are no skill ranks. There is only skill level. Determine what your modifier is with a skill, and that is your skill level from that point out.

6) Assign an XP cost and a learning DC to each spell, manuever, power, etc.

7) Since skill vs. save is heinous, make Fortitude, Reflexes, and Willpower skills. Classes that previously had 'good' saves get a free level in the saves that are 'good' for them.

8) Make an attack skill for each weapon. Untrained attack rolls (maybe skill checks in general?) take a -4 penalty. Classes with full BAB get one weapon at level 3, two weapons at level 2, or three weapons at level 1 for free at first level. Classes with 3/4 BAB get one weapon at level two, or two weapons at level one. Classes with 1/2 BAB get one weapon at level one.

8) -clarification
The attack skill replaces BAB.

9) Remove Dexterity and dodge bonuses from AC. The base DC for an attack skill check is equal to the modified AC of the target. A non-flatfooted character is allowed one dodge (Reflex Skill Check) and one Parry (melee weapon skill check) each round to attempt to negate a successful hit against him.

10) Because the net result of 9) is to make it easier to hit people, use Armor as DR, and Reserve HP.

11) In reference to 1, fighters should receive knowledge of one manuever or stance at first level, spellcasters should receive one spell, psions one power, etc. We should also give some starting XP, so the PC can customize their character. 40 maybe? How about auto success on learning skills at character creation?

12) How to handle leveling? How about you train up your level? Say, (50) (current level)XP gives you a roll to increase your level?

13) So, spells and powers, etc., should they have level requirements?

14) Definitely tossing out maximum skill levels.

15) There needs to be a minimum skill check DC to cast a spell, probably 10+spell level, just so there is a reason to put ranks into spellcasting skills that don't have many spells with saves.

16) Alternately, you could just add skill training to the existing rules, as a way of raising skills without raising level.

17) Because I don't think I have clarified, a skill training check is a d20+synergy, with the target number being the current level of the skill (including racial modifiers and ability modifiers).

18) To make the various skill boosting feats more useful, maybe they should provide a bonus to the skill training roll, instead of or in addition to the skill level.

OK, so I am mostly rambling, but it helps to have these ramblings somewhere that I can look at them later. Feel free to post ideas though. The idea is to rework D&D to implement a more realistic model for skill acquisition, similar to Harnmaster. I could just play Harnmaster, I know, but *shudder* this is the only thing I like about Harnmaster

Edit- new stuff is in italics.

2007-12-14, 04:19 AM
To clarify on 8.: Are you getting rid of BAB entirely in favour of weapon skills? If so, and if skills have no level limit, what is the reasoning behind keeping a level system? I don't disagree, mind you, as what you're doing sounds better.

One possible use for spell skills is to determine the cost of the spell by skill roll. The better your roll, the fewer slots/spell points you consume. It could also have a bearing on casting time. If you're using anything like the Concentration system, individual spell skill rolls could take the place of Concentration checks.

2007-12-15, 12:03 AM
The thought behind keeping levels would be for class features and HD acquisition.