Hello again GitP. Long time, no post.
A while back I started working on a skills rewrite. D&D 3.x placed a high value on skills but never actually delivered anything with them. You could use them for cool things with epic rules, but no one ever did because 1) epic had it's own problems and 2) people already had items to do the things for them anyway. Later classes suffer from this less than early classes, but they're also more narrow than I prefer. So I was annoyed at the state of things, had some time on my hands, and went about trying to fix it.
Well, the second editing pass through the skills has been complete for a bit now, and I thought I'd put it up for general comment / criticism / PEACHing. Please note that it is currently incomplete in some sections (mostly fluff chapters and feats), but I'm happy enough with it's current form to share it more broadly. Consider it in beta for feedback if you like, with a side of actively soliciting feats and other bolt on additions for inclusion.
The work is currently hosted at www.dnd-wiki.org, and I am not planning on porting the full work over. It is long and I don't want to have to update it in multiple places. I do want people to get a sense of what it's all about without having to click on a link, especially since that link may be blocked for some people, so I am bringing in a few representative sections. Those should be added to the reserved posts shortly.
Here's the link to see the complete project though: Tome of Prowess
And here's some design intent, to help you understand what I was going for and/or for you to quibble with.
- Add mid and high level utility to skills and generally make the subsystem matter after level 5. A big part of that was bringing utility effects from spells into the skill system in a way that wasn't just "now you can use X spell".
- Skill abilities should be differentiated from spell abilities, as well as the skill subsystem from the magic subsystem. This mostly happened by putting skills on an at-will schedule, with penalties for failure to discourage (or even disallow under certain circumstances) people from just using them all day.
- Any skill that exists should be approximately level appropriate from 1-20, whether that's through inherent scaling of the ability or additional unlocked abilities. Anything that doesn't hold up gets merged or dropped.
- Skills should be similarly versatile and useful, while retaining their focus and niche. Most of this works out as a result of pushing for level appropriateness, but some needed to be broken up to spread the love around.
*A note on the name - The name is more a reference to the Tome of Battle or Tome of Magic supplements, works that redid or added a new subsystem, rather than the Frank and K Tomes. I did take scaling skill feats idea from their work and write feats along those lines, but there's some additional acquisition limits on those not present elsewhere.