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    Default [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    This is a library of tools I use in my games to enhance the importance and utility of skill use. While the most important thing a DM can do to encourage PCs to use skills is to create challenges that beg for a skill-based solution, certain adjustments to existing mechanics can encourage players to start thinking with their skills.

    LET IT RIDE
    (Borrowed from the Burning Wheel RPG)
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    During non-combat scenes, a player shall test a skill for a given intent only once per encounter. Pass or fail, neither DM nor player can call for a retest of the skill for the same intent in the same encounter by the same character. Success from the initial roll stands for the remainder of the encounter. The same goes for failure. Players can still Take 10 or Take 20 as usual.

    The DM cannot call for multiple rolls of the same skill to accomplish a player's stated intent (for example, it does not require three successful Hide checks to avoid the guard, nor five Diplomacy rolls to convince the duke to send aid). Nor can a player retest a failed roll simply because he failed. If a player is unhappy with his failed result, he must attempt to use other skills or actions to accomplish his intent in the current encounter.

    Let it Ride does not apply during combat.

    Let it Ride is primarily a fairness tool, used to build player trust in the system. With Let it Ride in force, players know that I won't fabricate reasons for them to test their skill over and over until they fail, and I need not deal with players who try to create ridiculous outcomes by constantly retrying long-shot tasks until probability winks at them. Let it Ride ensures that everyone has the same expectations when skill use is attempted, and that the playing field is level.


    DIPLOMACY [CHA]
    (Borrowing from Rich Burlew's Diplomacy house rule)
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    Use this skill to ask the local baron for assistance, to convince a band of thugs not to attack you, or to talk your way into someplace you aren't supposed to be.

    Check: You can propose a trade or agreement to another creature with your words; a Diplomacy check can then persuade them that accepting it is a good idea. Either side of the deal may involve physical goods, money, services, promises, or abstract concepts like "satisfaction." The DC for the Diplomacy check is based on three factors: who the target is, the relationship between the target and the character making the check, and the risk vs. reward factor of the deal proposed.

    The Target: The base DC for any Diplomacy check is equal to the 15 + level of the highest-level character in the group that you are trying to influence + the Wisdom modifier of the character in the group with the highest Wisdom. High-level characters are more committed to their views and are less likely to be swayed; high Wisdom characters are more likely to perceive the speaker's real motives and aims. By applying the highest modifiers in any group, a powerful king (for example) might gain benefit from a very wise advisor who listens in court and counsels him accordingly. For this purpose, a number of characters is only a "group" if they are committed to all following the same course of action. Either one NPC is in charge, or they agree to act by consensus. If each member is going to make up their mind on their own, roll separate Diplomacy checks against each. Modifiers for the relationship between the characters and the risk vs. reward of the proposed deal are shown below.

    The Relationship: Whether they love, hate, or have never met each other, the relationship between two people always influences any request.

    Table 1-1: Relationship Modifiers to DC
    Modifier
    Relationship
    Example
    -10 Intimate: Someone who with whom you have an implicit trust. Example: A lover or spouse.
    -7 Friend: Someone with whom you have a regularly positive personal relationship. Example: A long-time buddy or a sibling.
    -5 Ally: Someone on the same team but with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of the same religion or a knight serving the same king.
    -2 Acquaintance (Positive): Someone you have met several times with no particularly negative experiences. Example: The blacksmith that buys your looted equipment regularly.
    +0 Just Met: No relationship whatsoever. Example: A guard at a castle or a traveler on a road.
    +2 Acquaintance (Negative): Someone you have met several times with no particularly positive experiences. Example: A town guard who has arrested you for drunkenness once or twice.
    +5 Enemy: Someone on an opposed team with whom you have no personal relationship. Example: A cleric of a philosophically opposed religion or an orc bandit who is robbing you.
    +7 Personal Foe: Someone with whom you have a regularly antagonistic personal relationship. Example: An evil warlord whom you oppose or a bounty hunter who is hunting you.
    +10 Nemesis: Someone who has sworn to personally do you harm. Example: The brother of a man you murdered in cold blood.

    Risk vs. Reward Judgement: The amount of personal benefit must always be weighed against the potential risks for any deal proposed. It is important to remember to consider this adjustment from the point of view of the NPCs themselves and what they might value; while 10 gp might be chump change to an adventurer, it may represent several months' earnings for a poor farmer. Likewise, a heroic paladin is unlikely to be persuaded from his tenets for any amount of gold, though he might be convinced that a greater good is served by the proposed deal. When dealing with multiple people at once, always consider the benefits to the person who is in clear command, if any hierarchy exists within the group.

    Table 1-2: Risk vs. Reward DC Modifiers
    Modifier
    Deal
    Example
    -20 Fantastic: The best-case scenario is a virtual guarantee. Example: a request to perform a minor favor at a later date in exchange for the saving the individual's life or the life of a loved one right now.
    -10 Very Good: The reward for accepting the deal is very worthwhile, and the risk is either acceptable or extremely unlikely. Example: An offer to pay a lot of gold for something of no value to the subject, such as information that is not a secret.
    -5 Favorable: The reward is good, and the risk is tolerable. If all goes according to plan, the deal will end up benefiting the subject. Example: A request to aid the party in battle against a weak goblin tribe in return for a cut of the money and first pick of the magic items.
    +0 Even: The reward and risk are more or less even, or the deal involves neither reward nor risk. Example: A request for directions to someplace that is not a secret.
    +5 Unfavorable: The reward is not enough compared to the risk involved; even if all goes according to plan, chances are it will end up badly for the subject. Example: A request to free a prisoner the subject is guarding (for which he or she will probably be fired) in return for a small amount of money.
    +10 Highly Unfavorable: The proposed deal represents substantial personal sacrifice or a dire risk of harm. Example: Asking a king to risk war by canceling an arranged marriage to the prince of a rival kingdom so his daughter can wed the commoner she loves.
    +20 Horrible: There is no conceivable way the proposed plan could benefit the subject, or the worst-case scenario is guaranteed to occur. Example: Asking an NPC to sacrifice his life in return for a pittance given to his family.

    Success or Failure: If the Diplomacy check beats the DC, the subject accepts the proposal, with no changes or with minor (mostly idiosyncratic) changes. If the check fails by 5 or less, the subject does not accept the deal but may, at the DM's option, present a counter-offer that would push the deal up one place on the risk-vs.-reward list. For example, a counter-offer might make an Even deal Favorable for the subject. The character who made the Diplomacy check can simply accept the counter-offer, if they choose; no further check will be required. If the check fails by 10 or more, the Diplomacy is over; the subject will entertain no further deals, and may become hostile or take other steps to end the conversation.

    Action: Making a request or proposing a deal generally requires at least 1 full minute. In many situations, this time requirement may greatly increase. You can attempt a rushed Diplomacy check as a full-round action (such as an attempt to head off a fight between two angry warriors), but doing so imposes a -10 penalty on your Diplomacy check. If you fail a rushed Diplomacy check by 10 or more, taking more time will not entitle you to a retry.

    Try Again: If you alter the parameters of the deal you are proposing, you may try to convince the subject that this new deal is even better than the last one. This is essentially how people haggle. As long as you never roll 10 or more below the DC on your Diplomacy check, you can continue to offer deals.

    Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Knowledge (nobility and royalty), you get a +2 synergy bonus to Diplomacy. No other skill provides a synergy bonus to Diplomacy.

    Taking the body of Rich's work on Diplomacy, reducing synergies, and adding additional modifiers for the quality of the deal proposed, this variant of the Diplomacy skill turns Diplomacy into a fairly smooth and effective tool. Players should find it easy to use once they get a handle on the idea that NPCs won't give them something for nothing.


    SPEAK AUTHORITATIVELY
    (Borrowed from the Burning Wheel RPG)
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    If you have at least 5 ranks in a Knowledge or Profession skill, once per game session you may speak authoritatively on the subject. Simply state a fact about a topic covered by the skill and attempt a skill check at a DC determined on the table below. If you succeed, the fact is indeed true and is now truth in the game world. If you fail, then the fact is false, or the opposite may even be true. Alternately, the fact may be true, but you believe it false on second thought. The DM adjudicates the result of a failure.

    Your statement of fact may not contradict the D&D rules or established canonical information about the campaign setting (for example, you may not state that undead are vulnerable to mind-affecting spells or that all dwarves were wiped out by a mysterious plague ten years ago). You should use your ability to speak authoritatively to advance the plot and contribute to the story, not to derail adventures or create ridiculous situations.

    TABLE 2: SPEAKING AUTHORITATIVELY
    DC GUIDELINE
    10 Common Knowledge ("There's a town east of here called Demotos.")
    15 An Interesting Fact ("Demotos has a large garrison because of an uprising last year.")
    20 Uncommon Facts ("A cult in Demotos believes a lost pharoah will soon return to free them.")
    25 Obscure ("Three centuries ago, Hakizimana-Ra swore beyond death to reclaim Demotos.")
    30 Extremely Obscure ("Hakizimana-Ra's staff of the magi can animate its owner as a mummy.")
    35 Obscure Specifics ("Livia, a baker in Demotos, found the staff but doesn't know what it is.")
    40 Extremely Obscure Specifics ("The staff's secret command word is Ahkoptos Risen.")

    Speak Authoritatively and Bardic Knowledge: A bard of 2nd level or higher may use Bardic Knowledge to speak authoritatively. It is important to note that speaking authoritatively about your bardic knowledge works differently than speaking authoritatively about a Knowledge or Professions skill. Because Bardic Knowledge covers legends and stories, rather than actual facts, you may only speak authoritatively about legends and stories.

    For example, with Knowledge (local), you could speak authoritatively to state that "the town's guard captain has a severe drinking problem." If you are successful, the fact is true. With bardic knowledge, you could speak authoritatively to establish that "everyone is talking about the guard captain's drinking problem". If you are successful, then the guard captain's reputation for heavy drinking is indeed widely known, but the actual truth of the matter might differ from the conventional wisdom.

    Class features that are similar to Bardic Knowledge, such as the Lore ability of the cloistered cleric and loremaster, or the Elemental Lore ability of many elemental spellcasters, should be adjudicated in a similar manner.

    Speak Authoritatively is a TREMENDOUSLY powerful tool for creating player agency. This option isn't right for all campaigns, as many DMs may feel uncomfortable granting this level of narrative control to their players, and some players may lack the maturity to use this tool wisely. Used well, however, players will quickly begin using Speak Authoritatively to manufacture friendly local NPCs, political power plays, dungeon sites, secret hideouts, vendors for their gear, and more. In the right group, Speak Authoritatively harnesses the creativity of everyone at the gaming table and puts that energy to work making the game world a more interesting and exciting place.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2014-05-28 at 10:52 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [3.5] The joy of skills!

    ADVENTURING EQUIPMENT
    The following gear takes advantage of the Speak Authoritatively rules, allowing players limited discretion to dictate the contents of their packs as the plot demands. These items are commonly available in any modest-sized town or large village, or from any shop that specializes in general adventuring supplies.

    Table: Adventuring Gear
    Item
    Cost
    Weight
    Adventurerís pack
    Pouch
    26 gp 5 Ĺ lbs.
    Satchel
    126 gp 26 lbs.
    Greatpack
    252 gp 52 lbs.
    Spell component pouch
    Apprentice
    5 gp 2 lbs.
    Master
    500 gp 4 lbs.
    Archmage
    5,000 gp 6 bs.

    ADVENTURERíS PACK
    An adventurerís pack contains a variety of tools, implements, containers, spare coins, and even alchemical items that are of use to adventurers in the field.
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    The contents of an adventurerís pack are not specified when the pack is purchased; rather, you load the pack with a variety of goods suited to your expected travels. Later, you may attempt to withdraw any item of common adventuring gear from the pack, with success determined by a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check made to determine how well you chose the contents of the adventurerís pack. Essentially, the pack grants you the unlimited ability to use Knowledge (dungeoneering) to Speak Authoritatively regarding its contents. When you purchase or find an adventurerís pack, note the current gp value and weight of your pack on your character sheet, as later on youíll be deducting the value of goods removed from the pack.

    What you can pack
    You may attempt to withdraw non-magical trade goods, equipment, tools, alchemical items, and any other items that your DM agrees could reasonably fit in the adventurerís pack. You may not attempt to withdraw an item with a gp value or weight greater than the current gp value and weight of the pack, nor may you attempt to withdraw weapons, ammunition, armor, shields, spell foci, expensive spell components, poison, or any magical items. For examples of the equipment you might withdraw from an adventurerís pack, consult Table: 7ó8: Goods and Services in the Playerís Handbook, tables 4ó2 through 4ó6 in Complete Adventurer, Table 5ó3: Alchemical Items in Complete Scoundrel, and other resources as approved by your DM.

    How to withdraw an item from the pack
    When you need something from the pack, make a Knowledge (dungeoneering) check as a move action to search the adventurerís pack, with a DC determined by the type of item you are attempting to withdraw (see Table: Adventurerís Pack, below). If you succeed, you remembered to pack the item in question and have withdrawn it from the pack. If you fail, you either didnít think to pack that item, or you havenít found it yet. You may not Take 10 when attempting to withdraw an item from an adventurerís pack, as its contents represent your guesswork as to what equipment you might need. However, you may Take 20 (this takes about 2 minutes as you rummage around in the bottom of the pack searching for the item).

    At the DMís discretion, you may use a different skill when withdrawing items from the pack, so long as the skill is appropriate to the desired item. For example, you might roll Climb to draw forth a mountaineering kit or Perform (harp) to withdraw a set of harp strings.

    If you are withdrawing something from an adventurer's pack that you yourself did not pack, use the Knowledge (dungeoneering) modifier of the person who originally packed it, rather than your own. You may not use alternate skills to draw forth items from a pack that you didn't pack yourself.

    Emptying and filling the pack
    An adventurerís pack is not bottomless, and will eventually become depleted through use. Every time you successfully withdraw an item from the pack, reduce the packís gp value and weight by the gp value and weight of the withdrawn item. Once the gp value of the adventurerís pack reaches its base value or its weight reaches the packís base weight, the pack is depleted and can no longer be used to withdraw items. However, a depleted pack is not empty. If the gp value is reduced to its base value, then pack contains a variety of useless junk and broken items sufficient to fill out the remaining weight within the container. If the weight is reduced to the packís base weight, then the pack contains a handful of coins, gems, or other valuable objects of negligible weight with value sufficient to round out the remaining gp value of the packís contents.

    If you have access to appropriate shops or supplies (as determined by the DM), you can ďrechargeĒ a fully or partially depleted pack by spending gp equal to the difference between the packís initial value and its current value and repacking the pack with additional gear. ďRechargingĒ a partially depleted pack also restores its current weight back to its initial weight.

    Adventurerís packs are available in three sizes. A belt pouch has an initial value of 26gp and initial weight of 5 Ĺ pounds. Its base value is 1gp and its base weight is Ĺ pound. A satchel has an initial value of 126gp and an initial weight of 26 pounds. Its base value is 1gp and its base weight is 1 pound. A greatpack has an initial value of 252gp and an initial weight of 52 pounds. Its base value is 2gp and its base weight is 2 pounds.

    Table: Adventurerís Pack
    Desired Item DC
    Mundane Item 20
    Alchemical Item 25
    Masterwork Item 30
    Adventurerís Satchel -5
    Adventurerís Greatpack -10


    SPELL COMPONENT POUCH
    A spell component pouch might take the form of a small, watertight pouch with many compartments, a series of pockets sewn into an outfit, or capacious folds within the sleeves of a kimono, poncho, or cloak. Regardless, a spellcaster with a spell component pouch is assumed to have all of the material components and foci needed for spellcasting, except for those that wouldnít fit in a pouch.

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    What the pouch contains
    An apprenticeís spell component pouch can be used to retrieve only those material components and foci that do not have a listed cost. A masterís or archmageís spell component pouch can also be used to retrieve costly components or foci. You may not attempt to withdraw an item whose gp value exceeds the current value of the pouch. At the DMís discretion, you may also be unable to withdraw certain rare or unique materials.

    How to withdraw an item from the pouch
    Withdrawing a spell component or focus from the pack requires no action if done as part of spellcasting, or a move action if done when not casting a spell. If the component or focus has no listed cost, or is required for a spell that you know and can cast, then success is automatic. Otherwise, you must make an appropriate Knowledge (arcana or religion) check to withdraw components or foci for a specific spell, with a DC determined by the type of item you are attempting to withdraw (see Table: Spell Component Pouch below). If you succeed, you remembered to pack the item in question and have withdrawn it from the pouch (essentially, the pouch grants you the unlimited ability to use Knowledge (arcana and religion) to Speak Authoritatively regarding which components and foci it contains). If you fail, you didnít think to pack that item, and the spell component pouch doesnít contain it. You may not Take 10 when attempting to withdraw an item from a spell component pouch, as its contents represent your guesswork as to what components and foci you might need. However, you may Take 20 (this takes about 2 minutes as you rummage around in your pockets searching for the item).

    Emptying and filling the pouch
    A spell component pouch is not bottomless, and may eventually become depleted through use. Inexpensive components and foci can be withdrawn from the pouch without limit. However, every time you successfully withdraw an expensive component or focus from a masterís or archmageís pouch, reduce the pouchís gp value by the gp value of the withdrawn item. Once the gp value of the pouch reaches its base value, the pouch becomes the next lowest type of pouch.

    If you have access to appropriate shops or supplies (as determined by the DM), you can ďrechargeĒ a depleted pouch by spending gp equal to the difference between the pouchís initial value and its current value and repacking the pouch with additional components and foci.

    Spell component pouches are available in three sizes. An apprenticeís pouch has an initial value of 5gp and initial weight of 2 pounds. A masterís pouch has an initial value of 500 gp and an initial weight of 4 pounds. Its base value is 5gp. An archmageís pouch reduces the DC of associated checks by -5, and has an initial value of 5,000 gp and an initial weight of 6 pounds. Its base value is 500 gp.

    Table: Spell Component Pouch
    Desired Item
    DC
    Inexpensive component or focus Automatic
    Costly component or focus (spell you can cast) Automatic
    Costly component or focus (spell you cannot cast) 10 + (2 x spell level)
    Optional component 30
    Archmageís pouch -5
    Last edited by jiriku; 2014-05-28 at 11:04 PM.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

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  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: [3.5] The joy of skills!

    The following feats take advantage of the Speak Authoritatively rule, or provide rebalanced versions of options presented in 3.5 sourcebooks. These remixed feats should be more attractive to players who want to invest in their skills but don't want to "throw away" feats in the process.

    INVESTIGATE [General]
    You can use the Search skill to find and analyze clues at the scene of a crime or mystery.
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    Prerequisite: Search 1 rank or higher
    Benefit: When using the Search skill to find or analyze clues at the scene of a crime or mystery, you may Speak Authoritatively once per game session, as if with a Knowledge or Profession skill.


    OPEN MINDED [General]
    You are naturally able to reroute your memory, mind, and skill expertise.
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    Benefit: Select any one skill. This skill becomes a class skill for all of your present and future classes. You immediately gain a number of skill points equal to your character level plus three. You spend these skill points as normal. If you spend them on cross-class skills they count as Ĺ ranks. You cannot exceed the normal maximum ranks for your level in any skill.
    Advancement: From now on, whenever you gain a hit die, you gain one more skill point than you normally would.
    Special: You can select this feat multiple times. Each time, you select a new class skill and gain an appropriate additional amount of skill points.


    RESEARCH [General]
    You can use your knowledge skills to extract information from books, scrolls, and other repositories of facts and figures.
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    Prerequisite: At least 1 rank in any one Knowledge skill
    Benefit: Researching a topic in a library, archive, or other document repository yields twice the usual bonus, and you can Take 20 on a Knowledge check when you have access to an appropriate library. You may Speak Authoritatively one additional time per Knowledge skill per game session if you have access to an appropriate library.


    SKILL FOCUS [General]
    Choose a skill, such as Move Silently. You have an extraordinary knack with that skill.
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    Benefit: You gain a +3 bonus on all checks involving the selected skill, and that skill becomes a class skill for all of your classes. This does not retroactively affect skill points already spent. You may Take 10 when using the skill even if threatened or distracted.
    Special: You may choose this feat more than once. Each time you do, you must choose a different skill.


    SKILL TALENT [General]
    Choose two thematically related skills, such as Listen and Spot, or Hide and Move Silently. You have a special knack with these skills.
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    Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on all checks involving the selected skills, and these skills become class skills for all of your classes. This does not retroactively affect skill points already spent.
    Special: You may choose this feat more than once. Each time you do, you must choose two different skills.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-05-29 at 01:50 AM.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Default Re: [3.5] The joy of skills!

    1) How does the speak authoritatively interract with bardic knowledge/lore? You don't get ranks in it, but it is effectively Knowledge (Everything). Would you get it? If so would it come at level 2, when others get it, or 5 when you have +5 to it?

    2) I like the skill feats, but think it would be better to just move skills onto a pathfinder-esque system. (this is coming from someone who doesn't like pathfinder, their skill system works, and does so pretty well.) ie, no x4 skillpoints at first level, but the difference between a class and cross class skill is the +3 bonus when you put your first point into a class skill.

    3) May I suggest adding a [skill] tag? Make it so a rogue can choose any [skill] tagged feat as one of his class abilities, but also make that tag carry with it an extra skill point per HD, rather than making it specific to open minded. That way you can take research and get some extra skill points, or skill focus (though skill focus feels like it could be rolled in with open minded)

    4) What is the normal bonus for having access to a library? I didn't see it listed in the SRD and don't know it offhand? It seems at first that research is a bit on the weak side, but I know players who would love it so...

    5) No love for skill tricks, or did I just catch this topic too early? A feat that lets you use a skill trick twice per encounter, or increases your maximum skill tricks known (or both, really), would be a pretty huge boon, and a skill feat really worth having.
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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    Default Re: [3.5] The joy of skills!

    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    SPEAK AUTHORITATIVELY
    *Snip*
    I really like this. I can't really think of anything to say about it except that I am totally nicking it. It works much better with the system than the Fate points I was going to shoehorn in.


    Quote Originally Posted by jiriku View Post
    ADVENTURING EQUIPMENT

    *Snip*

    SPELL COMPONENT POUCH
    Also these.
    Spelt with a silent "Phwoar"

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    Default Re: [3.5] The joy of skills!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    1) How does the speak authoritatively interract with bardic knowledge/lore? You don't get ranks in it, but it is effectively Knowledge (Everything). Would you get it? If so would it come at level 2, when others get it, or 5 when you have +5 to it?
    Beat me to it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    ...skill focus feels like it could be rolled in with open minded)
    That sounds too powerful to me unless you put a requirement or two in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    5) No love for skill tricks, or did I just catch this topic too early? A feat that lets you use a skill trick twice per encounter, or increases your maximum skill tricks known (or both, really), would be a pretty huge boon, and a skill feat really worth having.
    Sweet thought, but I'd personally suggest a proviso along the lines of:
    'You may take this feat multiple times, to a miximum number equal to your Intelligence modifier. If you lose Int points permanently at any point, you do not lose use of this feat, but cannot take it again until you meet the modifier requirement.'
    It could get a little silly otherwise, skill tricks are kinda mini-feats after all, and a high Int rogue would have a field day with the other feats presented above.

    On that note:

    Open Minded is now a semi-awesome feat and lends itself instantly to limited skill classes who want a focused boost. It incidentally becomes almost identical to the human racial skill bonus, with the added bonus of an extra class skill (a modification VERY common on and off these boards for humans in most settings, including mine)

    Skill Focus is just a better feat now, the addition of taking 10 and the 'class skill regardless' caveat are nice, but lead me to the following thought. As it stands, you could take this feat with a skill not on ANY of your class lists, which not only spoils the spirit of the feat but detracts from Open Minded a little due to the crossover. I don't think it's an issue as such, but if you add;
    Requirements:Chosen skill must be a class skill for at least one class you have one or more levels in.
    I think this would define what I believe was your intention with this feat, though I may assume incorrectly.

    Skill Talent is a nice and simple way of removing all those pesky 2-skill feats which clutter up my head (needs DM call on any unusual combinations though, like Tumble and Concentration for instance), but imo would similarly benefit from the caveat I listed above for Skill Focus.

    The Diplomacy stuff is remarkably streamlined for the amount of ground it covers and is probably my favourite fleshing of the skill to date. I believe the word is 'elegant'.

    One last thing for now, I'm really happy and also kinda annoyed with the bags you present, whereas I've been doing a very similar house ruling on spell component pouches since the early days of 3.0, the thought of doing it with standard gear was bogglingly absent in my head. I salute you, and bounce my head off the desk.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    Thanks!

    All credit for the concepts behind Speak Authoritatively go to Luke Crane, author of Burning Wheel (which is now out of print, alas). I am merely an imitator.

    --------------
    I have added a couple of paragraphs establishing how to Speak Authoritatively using Bardic Knowledge and similar class features.

    --------------
    Libraries typically grant fixed bonuses (based on the size and quality of the library) to Knowledge checks relating to subjects covered by the tomes within the library, but extend the time required to make a check by minutes, hours or days. For a good example of this, look at the guild benefits for membership in the Paragnostic Assembly, described in Complete Champion. A typical library grants bonuses ranging from +2 to +10 to Knowledge checks on one or more subjects.

    IMC, I often use Libraries as a "skill challenge" sort of encounter where players can use their checks to learn plot backstory, find adventure hooks, obtain information needed to advance their personal goals, learn the location of rare goods and treasures, or acquire tools and special knowledge that will help them fight their opponents.

    Research might seem lackluster at first glance, but its real power is that it doubles the number of Speak Authoritatively uses you get from your Knowledge skills while simultaneously making it easy to pass difficult checks. This feat provides tremendous narrative control of the game if you have access to a good library... and you can Speak Authoritatively to establish the existence of a library if the DM didn't think to create one.

    --------------
    I have not yet directed much love towards feats that enhance the use of skill tricks, I'm afraid. Tack that onto my "to-do" list.

    --------------
    Skill Focus is correct as written. All three of the skill-oriented feats can be used to expand your class skill list. These feats are excellent for hybrid concepts and builds that involve heavy multiclassing between classes that don't share common skill lists.
    • Skill Focus gives you one new class skill, a +3 bonus, and Skill Mastery
    • Open Minded gives you one new class skill and enough skill points to max it out
    • Skill talent gives you two new class skills and a +2 bonus to both
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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    Love your homebrew as always.

    Ehm, using Speak Authoritatively in crime/murder mystery campaign with Investigate may be problematic though.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    It requires some mental agility by the DM, who needs to be willing to handle the task of refereeing an open-ended story. For example, a PC might speak authoritatively to find a scrap of cloth at the scene of a murder that matches a tear in the cloak of the crown prince, but depending on how the DM spins that fact, it might work out that:

    1. The crown prince murdered the victim
    2. The crown prince was conducting a secret deal with the victim, and left before the murder occurred
    3. Someone framed the crown prince by placing a scrap of his cloak at the scene of a murder
    4. The crown prince murdered the victim, but isn't the real mastermind, as he was dominated by an evil wizard
    5. The crown prince is clearly the murderer, but because the grand vizier investigating the murder is firmly in the prince's pocket, he refuses to accept the evidence the PCs have uncovered, forcing them to find a way to expose the guilty parties


    A DM who's stuck on the idea of "but I already had this other guy planned as the murderer!" will struggle here, but one who's willing to roll with the new developments players create will prosper.

    Again, Speak Authoritatively isn't for everyone, because it requires the DM to give away some of his power to control where the game goes, and it requires players to be willing to take up that power and use it to enhance the game. In my own experience, I have one group for which it's almost not necessary to have a plot at all, because players will cooperatively use Speak Authoritatively to invent, develop, and resolve whole storylines. In a second group, the players are much more timid and Speak Authoritatively is mostly used to produce convenient vendors to buy their loot and item creators to make the stuff that they want.
    Last edited by jiriku; 2011-05-30 at 09:48 PM.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    Just out of curiosity, why repost Rich's Diplomacy fix? It seems almost the same, down to the same wording for most of it. It seems like your changes amount to, "There's an additional level of +20/-20 to modifiers for truly extreme risk vs. reward situations, and I switched the synergy from Bluff to Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty)."

    I don't know that the changes are significant enough for you to repost the whole thing as if you were only inspired by it, rather than having copied it and then added a few tweaks. At least with the Burning Wheel lifts, you're switching systems.

    EDIT: Also wanted to say that I like the Speak Authoritatively and Backpack stuff, but I would hope that you would increase the skill lists of all classes to include Knowledge (dungeoneering) and at least one other Knowledge. Otherwise, it gives more power to affect the game world to some of the classes that need it least, the wizard and the (cloistered) cleric.
    Last edited by SPoD; 2011-05-31 at 06:55 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    Rich's rules, while a worthy improvement, propose that is possible to obtain a castle in exchange for a dirty bit of string if one's Diplomacy check is high enough. I felt it necessary to tweak them.

    I totally agree with you that Knowledge skills aren't shared around generously enough on the various class skill lists. If you'll browse through my class remixes, you'll find that all of the non-casting classes have Knowledge (dungeoneering) as a class skill, and an easy way to get one or more other knowledge skills in-class as well. Keep in mind as well that the DM has carte blanche to allow the use of other skills in conjunction with the adventurer's bag.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but I like the Spell Component Pouch. And I hate spell components as a concept. But your tweaking to the pouch is appropriate and nifty.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    All tables updated!
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    I'd like let it ride, but with a little modification.

    The difference between the DC target number and the die roll indicates the degree of success or failure. For example, with movement-related checks (eg. climbing, swimming), each point of success indicates the number of rounds before a new check must be made (but note that you'll usually take 10 anyway for these). Similar provisos exist for other let it ride situations.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Remix] The joy of skills!

    Yeah one thing D&D is really missing is a system for smoothly integrating degrees of success. Some skills have a "failed by less than 5" effect, but that kind of thing isn't implemented consistently across the board. Overwhelming successes would also be useful at higher levels where skill DCs top out around DC 40 but skill bonuses keep climbing. Players often ask me, "sure, I know I succeeded, but I beat the DC by 20+ points. Do I get anything extra?"

    Allowing Let It Ride to delay Swim checks (which by RAW are made once per round) could make a lot of sense too. A character who has a 90% chance to stay afloat on his Swim check is only 45% likely to keep his head above water for one minute if he has to check every round. That might be excessively punitive.
    D&D Remix for 3.x: balanced base classes and feats, all in the authentic flavor of the originals. Newest: shadowcaster. Most popular: monk and fighter.

    Innovative new mid-tier classes compatible with 3.x and 3.x Remix: Machinist, Shapeshifter, Avatar, Magus of Blades, Ritualist, Magician, Dawnblade, Summoner, plus 5 elemental casters!


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