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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    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.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-04-23 at 05:02 PM. Reason: updating title
    www.dnd-wiki.org - My home away from home

    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

    Warning About My Comments:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e]

    A lot of things here don't work like the old skill system. Here's a list, along with some discussion as to why:

    1) Characters no longer gain or lose skill points based on their intelligence modifier.
    The skills are really substantially stronger. Giving bonus skill points for any attribute is more like giving bonus feats for having a high attribute, or giving bonus spells to everyone for having a high attribute. It basically makes that attribute too valuable in comparison to the others. If you feel that this makes intelligence less valuable, I would agree with you to a point. It's no more or less valuable than Wisdom or Charisma are for any given class (excepting save considerations... more on those later), as Int is the relevant attribute for the same number of skills and other bonus changes mean that you need a decent one if you want to be good at those things. You can only really get away with dumping Int if you're not playing a character with Int based skills that you care about, which seems sufficiently in genre to me. There is also a related save variant due to some "secondary save" style skill abilities that shifts the reflex save burden to Int that helps a bit.

    2) Cross class skill ranks are purchased at the cost of 1 skill point, not 2. The cross class maximum skill rank is equal to your (character level + 3), divided by 2. This is rounded up.
    I'm comfortable with a trade of 1 level appropriate skill for 2 sets of not-level appropriate skill abilities, and I don't see any reason to charge people any more than the loss of power for the increase in flexibility. I think it's a fairly poor tradeoff most of the time anyway, but there are reasons someone might want to do it. Why this is a poor trade will make more sense in a few points.

    The rounding rule is specifically so that people don't have skill points laying around after level up, since they can't otherwise invest in their cross class skills every other level.

    3) Retraining is a core part of this revision, not an optional rule.
    This gets some flack from people for a number of assorted reasons, but is more or less required if you want to approach the level of flexibility full casters have. They get to prepare different spells from your pool, you get to prepare different skills from your class list given sufficient time. Additionally, the class skill / skill point assignments are set in such a way that there aren't enough class skills for people to retrain without some overlap with their previous skills. Further, selection of any skill feat is going to provide a strong incentive to not retrain certain skills, so the narrative complaint that "you've always been able to do X and now you can't" is somewhat mollified.

    4) All skill bonuses other than attribute bonuses are now of the competence type, and capped at +3. This includes racial bonuses.
    4a) Synergy bonuses no longer exist.
    4b) Skill items are drastically different, and grant non-stacking ranks or re-rolls instead of bonuses most of the time.
    4c) Spells that grant skill bonuses or ranks need to be toned down, removed, or rewritten to not interact with the skill system in the first place.
    This is a design decision stemming from the following problem: you can't set DCs without an expectations of what bonuses people will have at a given level. If you allow people to have substantial bonuses to skills that they already have maximum ranks in, you get to decide if those bonuses can make people auto-succeed all the time or if those bonuses are required to have a level appropriate modifier in the first place. Since the first is unacceptable and the second is an item tax, I don't want to do either of those. So skill bonuses got removed or retooled to keep people's bonuses more in line. They might have substantially less than that, but they won't have more. Attribute bonuses remain somewhat problematic, and there's a discussion about the options you have for dealing with them.

    5) Skills unlock new abilities when you put new ranks in them.
    This is sort of a mechanical kludge to deal with the RNG. If you want low level characters to not attempt high level skill abilities, you have to spread the DCs out a lot or put up other barriers to entry. Spreading out the DCs has other issues associated with it, so barriers to entry it was.


    6) Skills include benefits and penalties based on the degree of success.
    This is designed to keep skill abilities relevant as you grow in level, and also to incorporate the "take a penalty to your roll to try to do better" thing.

    7) "Taking X" rules have been updated.
    You can take 4 times as long to "take 15", which was added to fill in the results gap and because there is a margin of success every 5 points. Jumping from bare success to fantastic success with no way to hit the middle was odd.

    "Taking 20" includes a rule that you are considered to have rolled a 1 before you roll the 20, so any possible failure will happen. This serves to basically reserve taking 20 for times when there is no chance of failure you care about without actually putting the prohibition in, because the prohibition is weird in some cases with the measured success setup.

    Additionally, you can "take X" even under pressure as long as you have 4 more ranks than the required amount. This rule is there to allow people to just do things without a chance of failure, since anything you could attempt 4 levels ago should be something you're comfortable with now. You will still check when you want to try to do better of course, but if "good enough" is fine for the situation you should be able to just do that. Ability check bloat is a serious concern for me with this revision.

    8) Knowledge skills have been reworked, and aren't really knowledge skills anymore except with respect to monster knowledge.
    The "know campaign" stuff ability was more or less valuable depending on the type of game, but also didn't really scale with level in any way that was good. So rather than make people spend character resources on it, it gets sort of handwaved now.

    9) Craft, profession, and perform have been removed.
    These skills just don't have the same utility value as other skills, and I don't really think it's possible to design them such that they ever would (well, you could do perform, but you'd probably invalidate the bard). If I told you you could walk on air or be a really really good bartender/flutist/mundane blacksmith, which would you choose? The standard handling of these is similar to knowing stuff, you write it into your backstory instead of spending character resources on it. There's a potentially more crunchy setup for this in my pile of WiP, but it wouldn't work on skill points at all.

    10) Assorted subsystems and class features have been updated to better interact with skills.
    Specifically riding, animal training, spellcasting interruption, overland movement, pickpocketing, tracking, trapfinding, and divine spellcasting. There's a whole chapter on it.
    Last edited by tarkisflux; 2012-07-17 at 03:59 PM.
    www.dnd-wiki.org - My home away from home

    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

    Warning About My Comments:
    Spoiler
    Show
    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e]

    This is a sample of the skill abilities available in the Tome of Prowess, compressed into summary form and hidden in spoiler blocks to try to mitigate tl;dr responses. It's not a complete list of the skills, because this is already long enough. The full summary list can be found here
    [hr]

    Acrobatics
    Acrobatics is a movement skill. It allows you to land a fall more gracefully, maneuver around opponents, and move over terrain that would otherwise block or simply not support you. Those really skilled in acrobatics can even walk on the air itself or catch a ride on bolts of lightning.
    Key Attribute: Dexterity
    Spoiler
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    Untrained Uses
    Run Over Difficult Surface
    Slippery or obstructed surfaces donít lend themselves to heroic charges, since heroic slipping isnít awesome. You must succeed at an acrobatics check to run or charge over obstructed or uneven surfaces, though you may take double moves without making this check.

    Rank 1 Uses
    Cross Narrow Surface
    Once in a while you need to stick to a narrow ledge on a crumbly cliff or walk across a tight rope across a gap between buildings. As a move action, you can make an acrobatics check to cross narrow, precarious surfaces.

    Reduced Impact
    Sometimes thereís just no avoiding a fall, so itís a good thing you know how to roll with them. If you succeed on a DC 15 acrobatics check, you treat your fall as if it were shorter than it was.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Tumble Around Opponents
    Opponents with weapons generally stab you when you try to move around them. This ability allows you to move through threatened spaces, both occupied and unoccupied, without provoking attacks of opportunity, though you may not use this ability in liquid that rises above your knee.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Competent Balancer
    You are no longer flatfooted when balancing on a narrow surface. You must still make a check when you take damage while crossing a perilous surface, but you suffer much less from these interruptions.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Tumble Into The Wind
    If you know how to orient yourself, you can ride the air to the ground from nearly any height. With an acrobatics check, you may function as if under a variant of the feather fall spell, significantly reducing the damage you suffer from the fall.

    Rank 10 Uses
    Light As A Feather
    You can balance on an object that shouldnít really be able to support your weight, like the top of a tree, your opponentís outstretched sword, or an arrow that someone shot at you. While you are defying gravity like this, you treat the object supporting you as solid ground. This allows you to leap from treetop to treetop, stab your opponent in the face while standing on his blade, surf a ballista bolt right into the enemy lines, etc.

    Run on Water
    Moving across things that you normally fall into requires a keen sense of balance and a bit of momentum. You can move across liquids without sinking into them, but unlike a narrow ledge it is easiest to do this while running.

    Rank 12 Uses
    Dance on Clouds
    Once you can run on water, dancing on clouds is the next step. With an acrobatics check you can run on clouds, smoke, exhaust, snowflakes, etc.; if you can see it in the air you can use it as a floor.

    Rank 14 Uses
    Skip on air
    After you can dance on clouds, itís not really a stretch to skip on the air between them. With an acrobatics check you can balance on the air itself, no longer needing to see it to make things work.

    Rank 16 Uses
    Ride the Rays
    Even lightning will hold you up for a time. In addition to the physical objects that you can stand atop with your Light as a Feather ability, you can also balance upon rays and bolts of energy.


    Affability
    Affability is a social skill. It allows you to influence how people feel about you, and use their fondness for you to push them a bit farther than they would go for others. Those with exceptional skill in affability can talk others out of blinding rages or into potentially suicidal actions.
    Key Attribute: Charisma
    Spoiler
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    Rank 1 Uses
    Push an Agreement
    Sometimes you can present an agreement, and the other party remains hesitant to accept it. Maybe you have to talk people into going along with a crazy plan or otherwise helping you out when they donít really want to, or maybe theyíre just being indecisive. Youíre able to push them a bit, getting people to agree when they otherwise might not, just because youíre a nice likeable guy.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Letís Not Be Hasty
    Sometimes people try to stab you before you can give them a reason not to. With just a moment, a smile, and a well turned phrase you can delay a hostile creature from attacking you and your allies. Delay is the key word here, as you can not hold an opponent back from attacking you if he has already started doing it, or if he knows that youíve already started attacking him.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Seriously Likeable
    A smile and kind word from you can melt even the coldest heart. With 10 minutes of interaction and an affability check, you can positively change the attitude of your target towards yourself or another person or group. This shift is a natural shift in attitude, and is not enforced by anything. If you mistreat or disappoint a person while their attitude has been changed, they are likely to respond more negatively than before. Even if you donít mistreat the person, their attitude will likely revert back to its original level unless you spend time earning it.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Campaigner
    Crowds love listening to you, and tend to like you better afterwards. While addressing a crowd of any size, you can try to make them friendlier to yourself or another individual. The effect of this is similar to the Seriously Likeable ability, but on a wider and less personal scale.

    Voice of Serenity
    When you turn on the charm, marshals find it hard to inspire either courage or ire against you and even berserkers find you difficult to hate. You can counter morale effects and rage and anger effects just by talking to your foes.

    Rank 12 Uses
    Do it for Me, Please
    Sometimes people walk off buildings, just because you asked nicely. This is similar to your Push an Agreement ability, except that you can convince people to do things against their natures or that are suicidal.


    Appraisal
    Appraisal is an analysis skill. It signifies an attention to detail that allows you to recognize forgeries, doctored goods, or knockoffs as well as price and identify goods and even share your insights with those suffering from a lack of logic. Those with attention to detail are also those who make good adulterers and forgers of work, so this skill is also used to make objects appear to be worth more than they are. Those with substantial skill in appraisal can even determine the functions of magical objects simply by examination.
    Key Attribute: Intelligence
    Spoiler
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    Untrained Uses
    Appraise Common Items
    When youíre out shopping, itís nice to not be ripped off by the merchants. You can appraise common or familiar goods and objects. You cannot appraise uncommon, rare, or exotic items untrained. You also use appraise to see past knockoffs and forgeries.

    Detect Forged Documents
    Forged documents are as good a liar as any silver tongued devil, but they sit in front of you and let you examine them for a longer time. You can spot forged documents, and deal with those who would pass them off on you appropriately.

    Rank 1 Uses
    Appraise Anything Mundane
    You know what youíre looking for, and have a fair guess of what most things are worth. In addition to common items, you can also appraise uncommon, rare, exotic, and one-of-a-kind mundane items. This includes artwork, gems and jewelry, and all of the other pieces of loot that adventures often find themselves saddled with. Some items, like artifacts or poorly made jewelry pieces with high emotional value to wealthy kings, are fundamentally unĖappraisable and likely to return a completely wrong objective measure of their worth. These should be rare; otherwise this ability is worth considerably less and you should complain loudly to your GM about it.

    Notice Disguise
    Your eye for detail and ability to spot forgeries extends beyond goods, but to people as well. You are able to pierce disguises with your appraisal abilities, finding the critical flaws that ruin the entire disguise.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Forgery
    Attention to detail can go both ways, allowing you to find or create forgeries and knockoffs. Anything that you can create, you can create in ways that make it look like something official or more expensive. You can create fake documents for example, make a normal sword appear to be a masterwork one, or remove the signs from a barrel of fish that would indicate its low quality.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Eye for Magic
    You can tell if an object is magical just by handling it. You may appraise magical items as easily as mundane ones, though you may still not know what it does afterwards. This ability may work on artifacts, but only on ones that you would have a reasonable chance of recognizing from stories or research.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Identify Magic Items
    Youíve learned enough about items that you can identify them fairly accurately. You can determine the properties of any item you know to be magical, or you may attempt this check on an item you simply believe to be magical.

    Think It Through
    Your ability to appraise a situation also lets you talk others through them. You can counter confusion and fascination effects just by talking to those suffering under them. You can not affect yourself with this ability, however, as those conditions detract from your ability to analyze a situation.


    Arcana
    The Arcana skill represents dedicated study into the workings of arcane magic. While that study manifests itself most strongly as the ability to better understand and recognize arcane magics, those who study Arcana also learn the underpinnings of creatures created and maintained with those magics, constructs and the undead. Characters with substantial training in Arcana can even use arcane spell completion items containing spells not normally accessible within their class and ignore attribute requirements on magical items.
    Key Attribute: Intelligence
    Spoiler
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    Rank 1 Uses
    Creature Insight
    While learning more about how arcane magic functions, you've also learned more about what makes some of the most common arcane creations and allies, constructs and the undead, "tick". Constructs are creatures built of material that have been animated by magic bound to their frames. The undead are the remains of once living creatures, animated to continue walking and working even after their bodies have given out. As an immediate action, you can attempt to identify a creature you are facing.

    Identify Magic
    When you run across magic, itís nice to know if itís magic that will help you or flay you alive. The Arcana skill primarily deals with the esoteric magic of wizards, though it can be used to identify spells or effects from any source.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Ignore Attribute Requirement
    Arcane magic is based on tricking the world into doing what you wanted it to do all along, and some of those tricks work to coax magic items into working for you even when you lack the prerequisite attributes. If a magic item requires a certain ability score to function, you can try to ignore that requirement.

    There's A Trick To It
    A little knowledge about obscure magical theory goes a long way. In this case, it allows you to attempt to utilize arcane spell trigger items.


    Athletics
    The athletics skill is a movement skill. It allows you to ascend surfaces, swim through waters, or swing through a jungle on vines that would otherwise block you. Those with a lot of skill in athletics can even climb walls of force or swim against tsunamis and in other conditions that have no terrestrial analogue.
    Key Attribute: Constitution
    Spoiler
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    Untrained Uses
    Climb and Hang
    Walls and barriers are meant to be overcome, and itís often easier to climb over, along, or around it than it would be to smash it down. You can move up, down, across, or even just cling desperately to a wall or slope. A slope is an inclined surface between 45 and 60 degrees, a wall is an inclined surface of 60 degrees or greater.

    Pull Up
    Sometimes you don't quite make the jump, and find yourself hanging on to the edge. You can pull yourself up over the edge after a jump, or over the ledge of that smooth wall.

    Swim
    Sometimes the moat is too wide or youíve walked the plank, and water is just one more obstacle to overcome. The swim ability is used to traverse liquids you canít generally walk on, like water, acid, lava, and other fun things.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Brachiation
    There are lots of places where itís easier to swing around instead of walk. Swinging by your arms and occasional leg, you can move through tree branches, jungle vines, banquet hall chandeliers, complex monkey bars, etc. at half of your base land speed.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Combat Athlete
    Youíre getting the hang of moving in different ways while people try to fill you with arrows or spears or whatever. You are no longer flatfooted while climbing or swimming.

    Fleet of Arm and Leg
    You are quite proficient at dragging and kicking yourself through liquids. You may swim in any conditions with a base DC of 30 or less.

    Touch of a Spider
    Your fingers are amazing at finding things for you to grip. You may climb any surface with a base DC of 30 or less.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Arms of a Monkey
    Youíve got some nice coordination and muscle strength. Your brachiation speed is now equal to your land speed. You may also brachiate with one hand occupied at half your base speed.

    Ein Hander
    You only need one hand free to climb walls or swim, and freeing up a hand comes with a few perks.

    Zwei Hander
    Just because you only need one hand free to climb or swim, doesnít mean you should only keep one hand free. You can make quite a bit of progress if you dedicate both hands to the job.

    Rank 10 Uses
    Touch of a Gecko
    Your fingers are amazing at finding things for you to grip. You may climb a surface of any DC; there really isnít much that stops you.

    Torpedo
    You swim better than most fish. You can swim in any conditions regardless of DC.

    Rank 12 Uses
    Like a Fish to Water
    Youíre extremely comfortable in the water now. You suffer no DC adjustments for swimming with both of your hands full. You also suffer no penalties for fighting underwater. You gain all the benefits of Ein Hander even when no hands are free, and you gain the benefits of Zwei Hander if you dedicate one hand to swimming. You still have to manage breathing normally though.

    Look, No Hands
    Your toes, feet, and legs are very strong. You donít need any hands free to climb walls, and can progress up a surface even while swinging a greatsword. You do not need any free hands to catch yourself if you begin falling. You gain all the benefits of Ein Hander even when no hands are free, and you gain the benefits of Zwei Hander if you dedicate one hand to climbing.


    Bluff
    The bluff skill is a social skill involving the art of trickery. With it you can convincingly lie, hurt the image of others, and take on the identity of another individual. Those with advanced training in Bluff can even implant false thoughts in their own heads and lie to divination sensors.
    Key Attribute: Intelligence
    Spoiler
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    Untrained Uses
    Combat Distraction
    If you just need to buy yourself a moment to escape, itís hard to beat the old ďHey, whatís that behind you!Ē You can attempt a similar distraction, buying yourself a bit of time to start on your escape.

    Innuendo
    Words can mean different things to different people, and you can use that to pass secret messages to others during public conversations.

    Poker Face
    You generally want people to believe what you tell them, especially if it isnít the truth. You know how to craft lies well, so that they are more likely to be believed by those you are telling them to.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Assume Identity
    Whether you look like someone else or not, once you decide to pretend to be someone else itís important to remain in character. You know how to keep in character, even when things around you might make that problematic.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Mock and Deride
    Anyone can heckle a speaker or slander a public figure, but you can do it with style. When others speak and attempt to garner favor for themselves, you can twist their words and otherwise cause them to err. This allows you to counter the Seriously Likeable and Campaigner abilities in the affability skill, blunting the goodwill they would gain or even causing them to lose it entirely.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Liarís Aura
    There are many situations where you donít want people to be able to detect your ethical leanings, because they would probably put your head on a spike. With a short amount of time to prepare, you can select which alignment you appear to have.

    Rank 10 Uses
    False Thoughts
    It is generally bad for your health to show the thought police what you actually think of them. You constantly create a false mental persona to present to the thought police, or whoever else might be listening in on your mental life, and can create custom ones when the need arises.

    Rank 12 Uses
    Not the One Youíre Looking For
    You can already lie about most things that would give you away, and now you can even lie about being Ďyouí in a deep, fundamental sense. You can trick scry sensors and location divinations into ignoring you.


    Ciphers
    Ciphers is an analysis skill. With it you can piece together patterns in written work, translating ancient languages, cracking codes that hide meaning, and even determining what is missing from a scroll to release its power. Those with a great deal of skill in Ciphers can even become fluent in dead languages or avoid triggering written trap effects.
    Key Attribute: Intelligence
    Spoiler
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    Rank 1 Uses
    Decipher Script
    Youíve seen a few dusty tomes and can make sense of unfamiliar languages in them. You can decipher writing in languages you donít read, as well as piece together messages in incomplete or archaic forms.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Decryption
    Words can be hidden in symbols, numbers, or even other words if youíre worried about someone else finding them. You can analyze these hidden or coded messages. This is similar to deciphering script in another language, and can actually be done at the same time as you are deciphering a work.

    Encryption
    Aside from analyzing them, you can also create codes on your own or compose messages in codes that you understand.

    The Finishing Stroke
    Your ability to analyze magical scripts also lets you guess at the missing stroke or word that will release their stored power. You may attempt to activate any scroll or other spell completion item that you have already deciphered.

    Translate Scroll
    Magic users often have ridiculous notation and idiosyncrasies in writing that make others cringe. You can read through that nonsense to find the magic stored beneath.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Rosetta Stone
    You know your way around a text, even when itís written in an obscure, insane, dead language. If you read enough of a dead language, you can eventually become fluent in it.

    Rank 10 Uses
    If Books Could Kill
    Youíre familiarity with writing, hidden messages, and symbols has made you familiar with their magical variants. Spells such as Explosive Runes, Sepia Snake Sigil, Secret Page, and the various Symbols can be triggered during reading, and you are prepared for them.


    Concentration
    Concentration is a purely mental skill. Those trained in it can ignore distractions and focus on a complicated task and perfectly memorize complicated things. Those with a great deal of skill in concentration can even focus their way past spell effects that would paralyze or alter their minds.
    Key Attribute: Wisdom
    Spoiler
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    Rank 1 Uses
    Ignore Distraction
    Itís tough to pick a lock while youíre being melted with acid, pick a pocket while youíre bleeding out of your ears, or cast a spell while youíre being molested by plants. If you focus hard enough though, you can block these distractions out.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Get Out of my Head!
    When someone else gets a hold in your mind, it can be difficult to block their influence. You can focus your mind on the task of fighting them off, and push back or eliminate any lingering effects from a failed Will save.

    Photographic Memorization
    Once youíve seen something, you can pretty easily recall it. You can attempt to memorize a written string of numbers, a long passage of verse, a street scene, or some other particularly difficult piece of information.


    Creature Handling
    Creature handling is a social skill, where you spend a lot of your time talking to creatures unlikely to talk back. It allows you to make a creature perform a trick (even those it hasn't been trained for), influence how creatures feel about you, train creatures to perform tasks, and even keep rabid beasts at bay without drawing blood. It is also the default skill used in riding, though there are alternative methods of acquiring the ability to ride well. Those with exceptional skill in animal handling can even train animals almost instantly, a skill prized among those who would teach their creature friends to defend their territory against invaders.
    Key Attribute: Wisdom
    Spoiler
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    Untrained Uses
    Perform Trick
    Many creatures regard the tricks they have been taught as "work" and, like people, may not want to do them without some pushing. You can get animals to do things that they already know how to do.

    Ride
    Ride is really less of a singular ability, and more a collection of abilities you can use while sitting or standing on another creature that you nominally direct. A ride check is made each round you sit atop a mount. The results of your check are further explained in the revised riding rules section; it is included here to indicate that this skill is used for the check unless you have taken the Mounted Combat feat.

    Rank 1 Uses
    Push Creature
    Creatures, even the mindless ones, have instincts that are hard to overcome. Sometimes, these instincts get in the way of a creature performing a trick or task that it has been trained to do. You can get creatures to do things even when an instinct makes them really not want to do.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Creature Insight
    When you spend enough time and effort training creatures, you learn to recognize similar traits in other creatures even if you've never heard of them before. Animals are the most common of your trainees, and you can make inferences about rare, exotic, and even dire varieties. Magical beasts are those animals who have been enhanced by magic, but generally have the same base motivations as normal animals. Vermin are giant insects and bugs, possibly created eons past, that most others ignore but are well suited to repetitive tasks and certain styles of training.

    Perform Unknown Trick
    After working with creatures for a while, you start to learn how to guide them to do things they wouldn't otherwise consider doing. You can get animals to do things that they haven't been taught to do.

    Train Creature
    You can train animals, magical beasts, and vermin to perform specific tricks and prepare them for a specific task.

    Rear Creature
    If you have a creature from birth, you can make it more accepting of training. You can rear wild creatures of these types so that they become slightly domesticated, and take on a more trusting attitude to people.

    Quick Mount & Dismount
    Leaping into the saddle requires a knowledge of creatures and mutual trust that you can engender. You can leap atop your mount, transitioning into or away from them as if they were a natural extension of yourself.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Iím A Friend
    Creatures of all types like you, and you know how to treat them to build trust and good feelings.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Whoa There
    A hungry, rabid animal is just as likely to see you as a meal or a target as something to be avoided. You know how to soothe hostile beasts and can delay them from attacking you.

    Rank 10 Uses
    Through The Hoop
    Animals like doing what you ask of them, and they get the hang of things quickly. You gain new, extraordinarily fast methods of training creatures.


    Cultures
    The cultures skill represents your dedication to the studies of the peoples of the world, their languages, and cultures. Those who spend time learning about others learn their language and can better recognize them when they meet, in peace time or war. Those who learn a great deal about others can also use that knowledge to try to activate magic items, even when they have no idea what the item would do. They can also pick up new languages just by being exposed to them.
    Key Attribute: Charisma
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    Special
    Speak Language
    Each rank, up to 5, that you put into cultures allows you to speak and write one additional language. You must receive approval from your DM before learning any secret or planar languages with these ranks.

    Untrained Uses
    Culture and Creature Insight
    Your worldly knowledge of places and the people who live in them has also given you some understanding of the strengths and weakness of various humanoids. For example, you may recognize the difference between the goblins of the Frostmire and the goblins that plague the Forests of Durmalin. Or know the differences between a hill giant and a cyclops. You have a bit of knowledge about all of the humanoids, monstrous and otherwise, as well as the giants who inhabit your world.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Blindly Activate Item
    Magic items, like other crafted objects, are a product of their time and culture. You know enough random bits about magic and devices from assorted cultures and traditions that you can try to activate magic items even when you have no idea what they do or how they work.Activating it doesnít mean that you necessarily control it, however, and there is a chance that you may not actually get the item to do what you want it to when activating it in this way.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Acquire Tongue
    Your knowledge of languages makes it easy for you to pick new ones up. You no longer select new languages after you gain 6 ranks in this skill. Instead, anytime you are exposed to a language you do not speak, you receive a check to see if you learn it after 1 minute. There is no limit to the number of languages you can learn to speak in this way.


    Devices
    The devices skill is an applied skill that helps you bypass dangers. With it you can disarm mechanical traps, disable waiting magics, open secured locks, and sabotage complex devices. Those with advanced training in devices can even trap magical items, lay false traps to slow pursuit, and even disable spell effects like arcane lock or wall of fire.
    Key Attribute: Intelligence
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    Untrained Uses
    Smash Simple Devices
    While anyone can point a spike into an arrow trap they've found to prevent it from coming out or dip a lock in acid to get it to open, it takes a check to disable simple things with less brute force. This ability allows you to find and disable obvious, relatively simple stuff without triggering it, like trip wires. This also includes simple bits of sabotage, suck as jamming a lock so it is unusable rather than smashing it into bits. With this level of training you may disable any device or perform an act of sabotage with a base DC of 10 or less.

    Rank 1 Uses
    Disarm Tricky Devices
    You know a bit about how mechanical traps, locks, and other devices work, and can successfully disable more difficult devices. This means you can disarm tricky devices, mechanical traps with DCs between 11 and 20. You can also complete more complicated acts of sabotage. Straightforward sabotage of mechanical devices like weapon handles or wagon wheels rests in the DC 11-15 range, while more delicate sabotage like bowstrings that snap on first use are between 16 and 20.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Disable Fiendish Devices
    Youíve got all the basics down and can attempt to disable anything you run across, mundane or magical. You can attempt to disarm any mechanical trap with a DC of 21 or higher, as well as perform complicated, precision sabotage. You can also disarm magical traps, which makes you fun to take into wizard tombs.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Item Feedback
    While arming your foe tends to not be an optimal strategy, it is significantly improved if you have rigged things in advance. You can use your knowledge of magical traps and items to rig magic items to backfire when next used.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Pick Arcane Locks
    Nothing is more annoying than a lock you canít pick. You have learned how to disable the binding created from an Arcane Lock and similar spells in addition to regular locks.

    Look, A Trap!
    Sometimes you need to buy some time, and people who are looking for and dealing with traps are people who are moving slowly. With a bit of work, you can make it look like an object or location is trapped.

    Rank 10 Uses
    Disable Active Spell
    Spells waiting in traps are really just practice for active spells that are less forgiving. You are able to dispel magic that is active on objects or in an area, but you are unable to dispel magic that is active upon specific creatures. This would allow you to disable invisibility on an object, a wall of fire, or even an Antipathy effect (since it affects an area) but not to remove a charm monster or sleep effect (which affects specific creatures in an area at the time of casting).


    Disguise
    The disguise skill is an applied skill that allows you to change appearances and form. With it you can change your features, change the appearance of others, and even change your weight or height. Those with substantial skill in disguise can craft elaborate costumes to appear as more fantastic creatures, emulating their abilities and even operating in places they normally couldnít.
    Key Attribute: Charisma
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    Untrained Uses
    None. Sorry, you actually canít do real disguise stuff without a bit of training. You can cut your hair, put on a wig, change your clothes, and do other extremely superficial changes, but these generally do not hold up to close scrutiny unless youíre also a very good actor.

    Rank 1 Uses
    Craft Disguise
    With a bit of putty and some makeup, you can hide or alter physical features. You may disguise yourself or otherwise alter your appearance such that you do not appear to be yourself, but you can not disguise yourself as a particular person with this level of skill.

    Rank 4 Uses
    Cunning Disguise
    Putty and makeup are quite familiar to you, and you can work them into many forms. You can even use them to imitate the appearance of a specific person, though people who are familiar with the individual will have an easier time finding your flaws.

    Rank 6 Uses
    Masterful Disguise
    You are truly a master of humanoid imitation, and have learned skills that let you imitate a wider variety of people. When crafting a disguise, you may incorporate elements to exceed the general height and weight alterations limit.

    Rank 8 Uses
    Fire Retardant Face Paint
    Some people look very similar to you, but live in the frozen north and are blue. You can disguise yourself as one of them now as well, even gaining minor resistances to help you pull it off.

    Extraordinary Costumes
    The best sahuagin disguise in the world wonít fool anyone if you canít also breathe under water. Similarly, some roles may require that you brave temperatures or climates you couldnít normally survive in, be taller or smaller than normal members of your species, or even fly. You can craft and operate costumes that incorporate technical elements and allow you to overcome these obstacles.

    Rank 10 Uses
    Fantastic Costumes
    You can imitate a bulette adolescent if you want, but there are probably more useful things out there. You gain additional costume ability selections, and may ignore the first 2 selections when determining your check penalty.

    Rank 14 Uses
    Mythic Costumes
    You could probably imitate a Cornugon if you felt like it. You gain additional costume ability selections, and may ignore the first 6 selections when determining your check penalty.

    [hr]

    Skills without a complete summary appear below. As I get around to fixing that, the line will be moved down.

    Dowsing

    Endurance

    Escape Artistry

    Geomancy

    Healing

    Intimidation

    Jump

    Legerdemain

    Perception

    Psychology

    Stealth

    Survival

    Thaumaturgy

    The full summary list can be found here.
    www.dnd-wiki.org - My home away from home

    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

    Warning About My Comments:
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Magic Mountain, CA, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e]

    ... and here are the nicely formatted Acrobatics and Intimidation skills.

    Acrobatics
    Acrobatics is a movement skill. It allows you to land a fall more gracefully, maneuver around opponents, and move over terrain that would otherwise block or simply not support you. Those really skilled in acrobatics can even walk on the air itself or catch a ride on bolts of lightning.
    Key Attribute: Dexterity

    Base DCs and Modifiers
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    I'll add these after I remember table coding for the site :-/



    Untrained Uses
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    Run Over Difficult Surface
    Slippery or obstructed surfaces donít lend themselves to heroic charges, since heroic slipping isnít awesome. You must succeed at an acrobatics check to run or charge over obstructed or uneven surfaces, though you may take double moves without making this check. The DC to charge or run over an uneven or sloped floor is 8, and you suffer a penalty to your check based on the conditions of the surface. Just to be clear, you never need to succeed on a check to run or charge over an unobstructed surface. Any check against this DC is due to the presence of hindering conditions on the surface.

    Base DC: 8
    Check Result:
    • DC and above: You may run or charge over the surface without issue.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: You may run or charge up to the difficult surface, but you stop after the first space. This ends your current move action, but you may spend remaining actions this round normally.
    • DC-6 and below: You fall prone in the first difficult square you reach. This ends your current move action, but you may spend remaining actions this round normally.


    Rank 1 Uses
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    Cross Narrow Surface
    Once in a while you need to stick to a narrow ledge on a crumbly cliff or walk across a tight rope across a gap between buildings. As a move action, you can make an acrobatics check to cross narrow, precarious surfaces. The DC for this check is determined by the surface width, as indicated in the table above, and you suffer a penalty to your check based on the conditions of the surface. Please see the check results below for the actions required to cross the surface.

    While moving on a precarious surface you are flatfooted. If you take damage exceeding your acrobatics ranks while moving or standing on a narrow surface you must immediately make a new balance check against the surfaceís DC. Unlike the standard check, if you do not succeed on this check by matching or exceeding the DC you fall immediately in the space you took the damage. Additionally, taking any damage while crossing a narrow surface ends your movement in the space where you were damaged, whether you pass the check or not.

    Note: While it is possible to charge across a narrow surface, it is difficult since you must declare a charge action before you begin your movement. Taking a charge action requires two successful acrobatics checks (or one really good one) because you need to make a check per movement action, and minor successes may not grant you the distance you need to reach your target. If you declare a charge action but fail to reach your target, you still suffer the -2 AC penalty (unless you fell down, in which case you take the prone penalty instead).

    Base DC: Surface width DC
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: You may take a Run action to cross the surface, or may take two move actions at full speed without making additional checks. You must make an additional check for any further move actions to cross the surface.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: You may take a single move action to cross the surface at full speed. You must make an additional check for any further move actions to cross the surface.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: You may take a single move action to cross the surface at half speed. You must make an additional check for any further move actions to cross the surface.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: You are unable to find footing, and your move action ends immediately before you would have entered the narrow area. If you are already in the area, you make no progress. If you made this check in response to taking damage in excess of your acrobatics ranks, treat this result as if you had rolled the worse result below.
    • DC-6 and below: You slip and fall in the first space of the narrow area you enter, falling off of the surface and landing prone on the ground beneath it. You suffer damage from the fall as normal.


    Reduced Impact
    Sometimes thereís just no avoiding a fall, so itís a good thing you know how to roll with them. If you succeed on a DC 15 acrobatics check, you treat your fall as if it were shorter than it was. The exact decrease in fall height is determined by your check result.

    Base DC: 15
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: Treat your fall as if it were 40í shorter.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: Treat your fall as if it were 20í shorter.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: Treat your fall as if it were 10í shorter.
    • DC-1 and below: You gain do not reduce damage from the fall.


    Rank 4 Uses
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    Tumble Around Opponents
    Opponents with weapons generally stab you when you try to move around them. This ability allows you to move through threatened spaces, both occupied and unoccupied, without provoking attacks of opportunity, though you may not use this ability in liquid that rises above your knee. This check is made per creature you are tumbling past as a non-action occurring during your regular move, but you do not make the check until your first action that would provoke an attack of opportunity from them. The DC is 10 + their base attack bonus, +2 for each enemy you have previously attempted to tumble past this round, and you suffer a penalty to your check based on the conditions of the surface.

    Base DC: 10 + the opponentís BAB, +2 for each prior opponent attempted this round
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: For the remainder of this round you may move through spaces threatened or occupied by this opponent as if they were clear spaces. None of this movement provokes attacks of opportunity from this opponent.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: For the remainder of this round you may move through spaces threatened by this opponent as if they were clear spaces, and through spaces occupied by this opponent as if they were difficult terrain (spending 2 squares of movement for each space). None of this movement provokes attacks of opportunity from this opponent.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: For the remainder of this round you may move through spaces threatened by this opponent as if they were difficult terrain (spending 2 squares of movement for each space). This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity from this opponent, though you do still provoke attacks of opportunity if you choose to move at your full speed through their threatened area or if you move into the space that they occupy.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: Any movement through their threatened area will provoke attacks of opportunity as normal.
    • DC-6 and below: Any movement through their threatened area will provoke attacks of opportunity as normal, and they gain a +3 bonus to attacks of opportunity made against you.


    Rank 6 Uses
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    Competent Balancer
    You are no longer flatfooted when balancing on a narrow surface. You must still make a check when you take damage while crossing a perilous surface, but you suffer much less from these interruptions. You must still make a check when you take damage while balancing, but you may continue your movement afterwards if you you succeed on the check. If you fail this check by 5 or less, you end your movement where you were damaged but do not fall. If you fail the check by more than 5 points you fall from the space where you were injured.

    Base DC: As Cross Narrow Surface
    Check Result: Special. Modifies special check results from Cross Narrow Surface ability.


    Rank 8 Uses
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    Tumble Into The Wind
    If you know how to orient yourself, you can ride the air to the ground from nearly any height. With an acrobatics check, you may function as if under a variant of the feather fall spell, significantly reducing the damage you suffer from the fall. The DC for this check is 24, and each additional check during the same fall suffers a cumulative +2 penalty to the check DC. You may dismiss this effect at any time, resuming a normal fall.

    Base DC: 24, +2 for each prior check during this fall
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: You function as if under the effects of a feather fall spell, falling only 60 feet per round, until you reach the ground.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: You function as if under the effects of a feather fall spell, falling only 60 feet per round, for up to 4 rounds. After this time you resume falling as normal unless you succeed on an additional check.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: You function as if under the effects of a feather fall spell, falling only 60 feet per round, for 1 round. After this time you resume falling as normal unless you succeed on an additional check.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: You fall up to 200 feet this round, benefitting from a minor form of feather fall. After this time you resume falling as normal unless you succeed on an additional check. If you hit the ground while under this limited effect, you only suffer damage for half of the distance fallen at this rate, up to a maximum of 10d6 damage.
    • DC-6 and below: You fall the maximum 2000 feet this round, suffering damage as normal from a fall of whatever height you began the round at (maximum 20d6 damage). On the off chance that you donít hit the ground this round you may make another check next round.


    Rank 10 Uses
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    Light As A Feather
    You can balance on an object that shouldnít really be able to support your weight, like the top of a tree, your opponentís outstretched sword, or an arrow that someone shot at you. While you are defying gravity like this, you treat the object supporting you as solid ground. This allows you to leap from treetop to treetop, stab your opponent in the face while standing on his blade, surf a ballista bolt right into the enemy lines, etc. You can jump off of it, walk along it (though many are treated as narrow surfaces), etc.; any action that you could perform with an object that could support your weight is a valid action to take while under this effect. The length of time you can ignore gravity in this way is dependant on your check result. When the duration expires you may not attempt to extend the effect with another check, you either fall to the ground or maintain your position with other skills.

    Balancing on treetops or other largely stationary objects is something that simply that occurs when your movement ends on them. Attempting to balance on an object passing through your square or an adjacent square requires an immediate action, and may also require some setup. If you wish to perch on a weapon after it misses you, you must have spent your turn fighting defensively or taking the full defense action. If the attack misses you by more than 5, the defensive setup is not required. Attacks that are not aimed at you, but pass through your square, are considered to have missed you by more than 5. Attacks that originate below you, which you can simply hop down onto, are included in this group. It should go without saying, but if an attack hits you, you may not attempt to balance on it.

    Once you have a qualifying attack, you may need to hop up to it. If the attack was aimed at your approximate level, you must succeed on a DC 15 jump check to hop upon the object before you can attempt to balance on it. Objects beneath you do not require this jump check, you simply land on them (and may suffer falling damage depending on the distance fallen). No additional action or roll is needed to intercept something in mid air, it happens automatically as part of the ability.

    Base DC: 26
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: You can stand atop the object for as long as you like.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: You can stand atop the object for up to 4 rounds before gravity catches back up to you.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: You can stand atop the object for up to 1 round before gravity catches back up to you.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: Gravity never lets go of you, and you land on the ground normally. If you were attempting to land on a projectile you run it into the ground.
    • DC-6 and below: Gravity is a harsh mistress. Not only does it not let you go, but you land prone. If you were attempting to land on a projectile you run it into the ground.


    Run on Water
    Moving across things that you normally fall into requires a keen sense of balance and a bit of momentum. You can move across liquids without sinking into them, but unlike a narrow ledge it is easiest to do this while running. The base DC for this check is 28, and already includes the DC adjustment for slightly slippery surfaces. It is modified by additional surface conditions as normal; choppy water might be considered light obstruction, for example. Generally you must begin outside or above the liquid to balance upon it, though it is possible to climb out of it with a sufficient check. Once you declare that you are using this ability you must use the minimum action listed in the check result, though you can use a more effective movement action if you like.

    Damage from spells or weapons still prompts an immediate check. The results of this check replace your original check if they are worse, indicating that the distraction caused you to miss a step. If you take damage after you have taken your turn, you fall in if your new check result requires a greater action than you used on your turn. You can use this ability to move over the surface of a damaging liquid, like acid or lava or whatever, but youíre not entirely protected from it. You take only minimum damage from the liquid, and are only required to make saves for conditions arising from exposure, not from immersion. This damage does not prompt a new acrobatics check.

    Note: In some really fantastic cases itís possible for the Run on Water and the Cross Narrow Surface ability to apply to the same situation, such as when you need to walk on a narrow stream of water drifting through the void. In those cases, add the DC for the narrow width or the slant of the surface to the DC to Run on Water and subtract 5 from the total. This new DC is the DC to Run on Water on the surface in question, and all of the regular penalties and rules for running on liquids apply.

    Base DC: 28
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: You need not use any movement action to remain balanced upon the liquidís surface. You can really just stand there looking awesome if you want to. You may spend your turn on the liquidís surface doing whatever you like, this writer recommends break dancing. You may also climb out of the liquid and balance atop it as a move action if you were swimming in it previously.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: You must use at least a move action to remain balanced upon the liquidís surface. You may use your other action to do whatever you like. You may also climb out of the liquid and balance atop it as a double move action if you were swimming in it previously.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: You must use a Run action to remain balanced upon the liquidís surface, even if the stream is only 10 feet wide. This uses up your turn, but keeps you dry.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: You must use a Run action to remain balanced upon the liquidís surface, even if the stream is only 10 feet wide. Which is good, because you lose 15% of your maximum run distance for each point that you failed the check by. If you are still on the liquidís surface when you reach the edge of your reduced run action, you fall in immediately. At that point you can begin swimming on your next turn.
    • DC-6 and below: You must use a Run action, but it doesnít really help you. You fall in as soon as your feet try to balance on the surface of the liquid. You can begin swimming on your next turn.


    Rank 12 Uses
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    Dance on Clouds
    Once you can run on water, dancing on clouds is the next step. With an acrobatics check you can run on clouds, smoke, exhaust, snowflakes, etc.; if you can see it in the air you can use it as a floor. The base DC is 30, and you suffer a penalty to your check based on the conditions of the clouds. This ability has the same action requirements and success thresholds as the Run on Water ability. Movement with this ability is subject to the same restrictions as the air walk spell, and inclines do increase the DC as indicated in the surface adjustments.

    In all other respects, including taking damage while using the ability and walking on a damaging cloud, this ability function as the Run on Water ability.

    Base DC: 28
    Check Result: As Run on Water ability.


    Rank 14 Uses
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    Skip on air
    After you can dance on clouds, itís not really a stretch to skip on the air between them. With an acrobatics check you can balance on the air itself, no longer needing to see it to make things work. The base DC for this ability is 32, and you suffer a penalty to your check based on the conditions of the air. This ability has the same action requirements and success thresholds as the Run on Water ability. Movement with this ability is subject to the same restrictions as the air walk spell, and inclines do increase the DC as indicated in the surface adjustments.

    In all other respects, including taking damage while using the ability and walking on a damaging invisible gas, this ability function as the Run on Water ability.

    Base DC: 32
    Check Result: As Run on Water ability.


    Rank 16 Uses
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    Ride the Rays
    Even lightning will hold you up for a time. In addition to the physical objects that you can stand atop with your Light as a Feather ability, you can also balance upon rays and bolts of energy. Any energy or ray attack that requires an attack roll or line effect that allows a reflex save is a valid object for you to balance atop and ride, but requires a DC 37 acrobatics check to stay atop. This ability functions in all other ways as your Light as a Feather ability, including setup requirements.

    Base DC: 37
    Check Result: As Light as a Feather ability, except as follows
    • DC-6 and below: Gravity is a harsh mistress. Not only does it not let you go, but you suffer full effects from the ray, bolt, or line effect you were attempting to balance upon. You may roll a save if the effect grants one. You do not land prone, however, and thatís something right?


    Intimidation
    The intimidation skill is a social skill involving the threat of force, violence, and other unpleasantries. With it you can scare people into helping or running from you. Those who practice intimidation intensely can scare off larger groups of people, demand obedience from others, and break fearís grasp over people.
    Key Attribute: Charisma

    Suggested Rule Change
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    In the interest of avoiding intimidation / fear parties, we recommend that you do not stack fear effects. No other similar condition stacks, and the incentives are weird if you do so with fear. You don't have to use this change if you don't want to, but you should understand that this skill is significantly more powerful if you can stack fear effects, and should consider not allowing rushing.


    Check Modifiers
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    I'll add these after I remember table coding for the site :-/


    Rank 1 Uses
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    Help Me Out Here, Or Else
    Fear is a powerful tool in social interactions. If you have at least one minute to interact with someone, you may make someone temporarily more ďhelpfulĒ. The base DC for this check is 15 + their CR, and you gain a bonus or penalty to your check as indicated in the conditions listed above. The DC is also modified by other situational events as indicated in the table above.

    Each intimidation attempt lowers the targetís actual attitude towards you by one step, regardless of whether the check succeeds or fails. If you beat your targetís check result, you may treat the target as friendly towards you, but only for the purpose of actions taken while it remains intimidated. The target retains its normal attitude, but will chat, advise, offer limited help, or advocate on your behalf while intimidated. The duration of this effect depends on your check result. As long as your attempt is successful and you are still present at its expiration, you are entitled to an intimidation check as a standard action to extend the effect without the normal rush penalty.

    Base DC: 15 + Character Level
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: The target is really, really scared of you. They are treated as friendly whenever you interact with them, but they go out of their way to avoid you and may be difficult to track down. They probably leave town or go underground as soon as possible even. This effect lasts until their CR increases or they witness you being defeated.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: The target believes that bad things will happen if they donít try to placate you. They are treated as friendly towards you for 1d6 hours, until their CR increases, or they witness you being defeated.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: The target believes that bad things will happen if they donít try to placate you. They are treated as friendly towards you for 1d6 minutes.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: Though you may actually be scary, the target isnít moved and remains uncooperative.
    • DC-6 and below: The target thinks youíre rather annoying when you try to be scary. They openly mock you, provide you with incorrect or useless information, or otherwise frustrate your efforts.


    Rank 4 Uses
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    Shake Resolve
    With threats, gestures, and posture you can make even the bravest foe cower. You may attempt to scare off an enemy rather than, or in addition to, trying to stab them in the face. As a standard action, you may attempt to shake the resolve of one target who is either adjacent to you or within your threatened area. The base DC for this check is 15 + their CR. You gain a bonus or penalty to your check as indicated in the conditions listed above. The exact effects are dependent upon your check result. This is a [Fear] effect.

    Note that the conditions generated do not stack with additional uses of this ability or with uses of this ability from other sources.

    Base DC: 15 + Character Level
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: The target is panicked for 1 round, plus 1 additional round for each 2 points your check exceeded 10 over the DC. After this duration they are frightened for 3 rounds, and then shaken for 4 more rounds.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: The target is frightened for 1 round, plus 1 additional round for each 2 points your check exceeded 5 more than the DC. After this duration they are shaken for 4 more rounds.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: The target is shaken for 2 rounds, plus 1 additional round for each 2 points your check exceeded the DC.
    • DC-1 and below: You fail to shake the resolve of your opponent. Itís time to try old fashioned killing.


    Rank 6 Uses
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    Shout Them Down
    It's easy to project an air of confidence and menace when you know what you're doing. You can get multiple creatures to run from you instead of fighting. When you use the Shake Resolve ability you may target all individuals in your threatened area. For the purposes of this ability, your threatened area is considered to reach an additional 5 feet for every 2 ranks in intimidation above 6 you possess. You may exclude any targets within this area that you like from the effect. You must have line of sight to a target to affect them. No matter how many targets you attempt to affect with this ability, you only make one check. That result is then compared to the DCs for each target. This ability otherwise functions like the Shake Resolve ability.

    Snap Out Of It
    Intimidation is a skill all about making people afraid of you, and that fear can be used to break people free from the grip of inaction. Maybe you threaten them, maybe you just glare, the simple fact is that you can shake your friends (or your "friends", in some cases) free of [Fear] effects and the stun condition. You may only affect these conditions if their remaining duration is less than 1 hour. You cannot affect yourself with this ability, however, as those conditions detract from your ability to rouse the necessary scariness. To shock someone free, you make an intimidation check as a standard action. The DC is the effectís save DC + the effectís level (in the case of spells like Fear) or 10 + the effect userís character level + the effect userís Chr modifier (in the case of supernatural abilities without an effect level, or an intimidation ability used against you). If you succeed on the check, you suppress the ability as indicated in the check result table below, affecting up to 1 target per 2 ranks in intimidation. Only make one roll for the round, and compare that roll to the DCs for each effect to see which are suppressed and which are not.

    Base DC: Effect Save DC + Effect level, or 10 + Userís Character Level + Cha mod
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: You suppress the effect for four rounds without additional checks or actions, at the end of which it is dispelled on your targets. Anyone freed from an effect with this ability is considered to have made a save against it. This probably annoys whoever placed the effect on them in the first place since they must reuse the ability, recast the spell, or otherwise restart its effects.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: You suppress the effect in your targets for this round, and may continue suppressing it for up to two additional rounds without an additional check. You must spend a swift action in the additional rounds to keep the effects suppressed however. At the end of that time the effects return if their duration has not expired, though you may make a new check as a standard action to suppress them again.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: You suppress the effect in your targets for this round. Next round the effects return if their duration has not expired, though you may make a new check as a standard action to suppress them again.
    • DC-1 to DC-5: You fail to affect the ability this round, but may try again next round if you like.
    • DC-6 and below: Too much fear isnít helpful. After accidentally talking them deeper into their condition, you become unable to affect this instance of the ability at all. Any further retries are futile, and you should really find something else to do with your actions next round.


    Rank 8 Uses
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    New Orders
    Youíve learned which tones of voice work best to get people to obey you without thought. Under most circumstances you can make a target drop what theyíre doing and follow your orders instead. As a standard action, you can make a demand of a target that they may follow without question. Targets must be able to see and hear you clearly to be affected by this ability, and may not be currently engaged in combat with you. The base DC for this check is 15 + their CR. You gain a bonus or penalty to your check as indicated in the conditions listed above. Targets also become resistant to your control, and you suffer a cumulative +3 penalty to the DC for each additional attempt you make on a target. It is difficult to catch a target more than once with this ability.

    If you succeed, they follow brief (20 words or less) instructions from you to the best of their ability. The instructions may not be suicidal or result in obvious harm to the target. This condition is a [Fear] effect. How long they follow your instructions depends on your check result.

    Base DC: 15 + Character Level, +3 for each additional check, + conditions
    Check Result:
    • DC+10 and above: The target follows your orders for up to 12 hours. They receive a will save every 10 minutes they remain away from you (DC 10 + half your intimidation bonus) to end the effect immediately.
    • DC+5 to DC+9: The target follows your orders for up to 20 minutes. They receive a will save every 5 rounds they remain away from you (DC 10 + half your intimidation bonus) to end the effect immediately.
    • DC+0 to DC+4: The target follows your orders for up to 1 minute. They receive a will save every round they remain away from you (DC 10 + half your intimidation bonus) to end the effect immediately.
    • DC-1 and below: You fail to order the target around, and they react appropriately to such a failure.


    Rank 10 Uses
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    Cowards, All Of You!
    You donít just shake the resolve of your enemies with your actions and combat prowess, but with your very presence. You don't even have to know a creature is present to make it run from you instead of fighting. When you use the Shout Them Down ability you may reduce your effective reach by 5 feet to eliminate either the line of sight requirement, but the target must still be able to hear or otherwise recognize your presence. This ability otherwise functions like the Shout Them Down ability.


    Rank 12 Uses
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    Go Jump Off A Cliff
    Some tones of voice can override a person's natural sense of self preservation. You have practiced these tones, and may use them where you feel appropriate. When you issue a demand to a creature with the New Orders ability, you may ask them to perform suicidal or obviously harmful actions. You suffer a -5 penalty to your check when you do so.

    Additionally, you may now affect all targets within a 10 foot radius with your New Orders ability, or any two targets no farther than 20 feet apart. When you attempt to affect multiple targets, you make only one roll and compare it to each of their DCs.
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    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e]

    And some skill feats. The [Prowess] type is a new type used for differentiation purposes, since one of the wiki contributors wanted to write a class ability that granted bonus non-scaling skill feats, and it was weird to word without a new type. It would have just been the [Skill] type, but that was already taken ;-)

    Angry Glare [Prowess]
    False friends wither under the weight of your glare.
    Prerequisites: Intimidation 4+ ranks
    Benefit: When you are affected by an Affability ability, you may make an Intimidation check as a free action. If your check exceeds your opponent's check, your opponent resolves the ability as if they had rolled the worst possible result.
    You may also make an Intimidation check in place of a will save against any [Charm] or [Compulsion] effect. You suffer a penalty to your check equal to the effect level, or half the initiator's CR for effects without spell, power, maneuver, or similar level.

    Mounted Combat [Fighter]
    You are a skilled rider and combatant, and have brought the two together.
    Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +1
    Benefit: When making a ride check or a swift mount / dismount check, you may use your Base Attack Bonus + your Dexterity Modifier + 3 in place of your normal ride modifier. You may take 10 on this replacement riding check at any time, even under pressure or in combat. Normal: You must invest in the ride (or other equivalent) skill to be a competent rider.
    Special: A fighter may select Mounted Combat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

    Dimensional Wrangler [Skill]
    You could wrangle a blink dog or a pocket dimension with the right knot.
    Benefits: This is a skill feat intended for use with the Tome of Prowess. It scales with your ranks in Survival.
    • 0 ranks: You receive a +3 competence bonus on Survival checks.
    • 4 ranks: You may bind a helpless, pinned, or willing adversary as a full-round action instead of a 1 minute action. You also gain proficiency with the lasso, and can create a lasso from any available length of rope as a move action. This exotic two-handed weapon has a reach of 30' for a medium creature (or less if an insufficient length of rope is available), threatens no spaces, and can be used against any creature within range. Attacking with a lasso requires a ranged touch attack, and you may substitute your survival bonus in place of your ranged attack bonus. If successful, the target is considered bound as if you had used the Bind Adversary skill ability on them. If your attack exceeded their touch armor class by 5 points you have also bound half of their arms. If your attack exceeded their touch armor class by 10 points you have bound all of their arms. Bound arms may not be used until the rope is removed or the target successfully escapes it. Once you have bound a foe with a lasso, you may drop it without them escaping their binding. If you continue holding the lasso you gain some control over their movement, however, and they may not leave the area that the lass could reach without winning an opposed strength check against you. Additionally, you may attempt to trip them on your turn, with a +4 bonus, as a move action. If you fail the opposed check, they may not attempt to trip you back. If a bound foe falls prone, you may make attempt to trip them as a free action whenever they attempt to rise. You still get a +4 bonus to this attempt.
    • 9 ranks: Tiny proto-dimensions are everywhere, and can be caught with a lasso if you know how. As a full round action you may use a lasso to duplicate the effect of a rope trick spell, with a caster level equal to your ranks in survival - 3.
    • 14 ranks: Binding a creature isn't helpful if they can just teleport away. Any creature you bind with a rope is also subject to a dimensional anchor effect. This lasts until the target frees itself, and is considered to have a caster level equal to your ranks in survival - 3.
    • 19 ranks: Binding a creature that was never really there in the first place is frustrating, and you have learned how to keep them from simply returning to their bodies. While a silver or secondary body of a creature who is astrally projecting is bound with one of your knots, they are unable to return to their physical bodies. Creatures so trapped must also make a will save each round against a DC equal to your survival bonus. Those who succeed at this save must continue saving each round until they free themselves from your lasso or fail the save. Those who fail the save have their cords cut, and their bodies die wherever they are located. The astral body becomes helpless but remains conscious and is prevented from passing on to the after life until you release it from the binding. Any attempt to raise the target automatically fails as long as their astral self remains bound in your rope.


    Enduring Physiology [Skill]
    If things got really bad, you could always just hide under a rock for a century or two until they improved.
    Benefits: This is a skill feat intended for use with the Tome of Prowess. It scales with your ranks in Endurance.
    • 0 ranks: You gain a +3 competence bonus to Endurance checks.
    • 4 ranks: Your body processes slow substantially. You only need to eat and drink half as much as normal, and can hold your breath for 4 rounds per point of Endurance bonus or your Constitution score, whichever provides the larger time. You may make an Endurance check in place of a Fortitude save against poisons or diseases. You no longer suffer attribute penalties for aging as deterioration simply doesn't happen at the same pace.
    • 9 ranks: You no longer require food or water to sustain your body, or whatever other crude physical matter would otherwise sustain you. You can still eat and drink if you want to, refreshment tastes as it would normally and your body still processes it normally if you do take it in. You can hold your breath for 1 minute per point of Endurance bonus. You also gain immunity to mundane diseases, ingested poisons, and contact poisons, but not injury or inhaled poisons. Your maximum age limit is doubled.
    • 14 ranks: You no longer need to breathe to sustain your body, and can hold your breath indefinitely. You become immune to any effects that require you to inhale them first, as well as immunity to magical diseases and all poisons. Your maximum age limit is quadrupled.
    • 19 ranks: Your body resists attempts to weaken it exceedingly well. You do not suffer Ability Damage and Ability Drain that would be applied to your Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution scores. You have no maximum lifespan and are immortal barring magic, violence, or other things of that sort. If you ever feel like passing on "naturally" you may do so with 8 hours of meditation.


    Metaphysical Escapist [Skill]
    The world has chains, even if you can't see them. And just like any other chains, if you slip just right....
    Benefits: This is a skill feat intended for use with the Tome of Prowess. It scales with your ranks in Escape Artistry.
    • 0 ranks: You gain a +3 competence bonus to Escape Artistry checks.
    • 4 ranks: You can adjust the hold the ground has over you, directing your bindings elsewhere briefly. This allows you to walk up walls or through loops or over any other surface that would hold your weight if it were actually below you. As part of a move, double move, charge, or run action you may attempt to travel over such a surface. You must succeed on a DC 20 Escape Artistry check to successfully complete your move, however. If you fail this check you are unable to traverse the surface and lose 10' of movement from your move action, and such a failure reduces a run or charge action to a simple double move. You may not exceed your base move on this surface, nor may your end your move on this surface. You fall prone (as well as down, if applicable) if you do not reach a surface you could stand on normally within these limits. You may otherwise attempt this as often as you have movement to spare in a round and ground to start from.
    • 9 ranks: You can slip just the tiniest bit out of sync with the prime material plane, for a short time anyway. This requires a swift action and a DC 25 Escape Artistry check. If you succeed, you gain the ability to perceive the ethereal plane, or any other single coterminous plane of your choice, out to a distance of 60'. Further, any ability or attack you make can be considered to originate on the prime material plane or the coterminous plane, as you prefer.
    • 14 ranks: You can actually slip out of sync with the prime material plane, just not for long. This requires a swift action and a DC 30 Escape Artistry check. If you succeed you physically enter the ethereal plane, or other coterminous plane of your choice, for one round. You may remain for longer, but must succeed on an additional check each round. Use of this ability is tiring, however, and counts as a round of taking a flat-out action regardless of what you actually do with your round in the coterminous plane.
      Additionally, you may attempt the rank 9 benefit of this feat as a free action, though the DC increases to 30.
    • 19 ranks: With an hour of meditation and a DC 35 Escape Artistry check, you can slip free of your physical self and the material world. This largely duplicates the effects of astral projection, except that it is an (Su) ability and you may not bring anyone with you. You must succeed on a new check every 24 hours or the effect ends and you return to your waiting body. When you return to your body, whether intentionally or due to violence or a failed check, you are exhausted for 1 day. You may not attempt this meditation again until the exhaustion has passed.



    Additional feats can be found here. Please note that a number of these feats are not my work, as the feats section was the first to actively seek outside contributors.
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e]

    Reserved just in case.

    Feel free to post below. Comments are very much appreciated, as is your time reading over these walls of text :-)
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    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e]

    Wow, this looks very nice! I'll need to read it through in more detail later, but my initial impression is very good! I like the direction you're taking this.
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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    Based on bug reports, concerns, and criticisms the following changes have been made since this was posted.

    Changelog:
    • General -Updated Distracted and Extremely Distracted penalties. Removed Shocked.
    • General - Disguise renamed to Transformation to better indicate revised focus
    • Appraisal - Detect Fraud removed from Appraisal; ability to tell real merch from fake rolled back into standard Appraise abilities.
    • Concentration / Endurance / Escape Artistry - New end conditions for secondary save abilities - +5 total bonus = success; DC-11 = failure. Boosted bonus modifiers to +/-2 and +/-3.
    • Concentration - Split up Split Focus and Manage Interruption abilities of Concentration, since they were aimed at different things. New text should be more clear.
    • Dowsing - Sense Presence moved to rank 8. Blindsense at level 3 was probably too much anyway.
    • Dowsing - Sense Presence now grants passive perception with your blindsense based on your dowsing bonus. Increased action to take a real "notice" check with blindsense from Sense Presence to standard action. Limited to 1 check per round. This is basically a standardization of action costs with Notice ability in perception.
    • Dowsing - Sense Presence now disallows standard notice checks other than passive ones. Perception considered distracted (-5 penalty) while it's active. Using both at once was not intentional.
    • Endurance - Clarity edit for Not Finished Yet so that targets are only stunned if that is a less bad condition than the alternative, like dead. Also specified that immunity to stun does not apply in that case.
    • Legerdemain - Clarified Conceal Action ability. Now only applies to touch and sight events, adds to base perception DC instead of replacing it (for touch applications), and does not grant an immediate notice check in violation of notice limit.
    • Legerdemain - Added Faster than the False Eyes ability to Legerdemain, so they can deal with enhanced senses. May still split the ability, to better mirror other enhanced sense countering abilities.
    • Perception - Special sensory abilities updated and clarified in Notice ability. They are now included in every passive and active check, since it works out the same way.
    • Perception - Notice now only allows one check per round, whether it is passive or active.
    • Perception - Discern Fraud lost reroll ability, as it wouldn't work as intended.
    • Perception - Discern Transformation renamed, and now used to detect Transfigurations. Rolling well allows ability to dismiss Transfigurations with a touch attack or grants bonus on dispel checks.
    • Stealth -Foil Senses was broken up into two groups. Tremor and blindsense are blocked at rank 8, and blindsense is blocked at rank 10.
    • Transformation - Costumes limited to disguise level abilities. Still grant minor height and weight changing.
    • Transformation - Fire-retardant face paint given a 10 day expiration.
    • Transformation - Fantastic Costume et al renamed to Transfiguration abilities. Limited number of abilities on hand at any time, but can be spread across one or many transformations as desired. Duration nerfs as well. Now opposed by Discern Transmutation in perception, and can not be seen by insufficiently trained individuals. Also given 10 day expiration.
    • Transformation - Transfiguration abilities moved back 2 ranks, to more directly compete with polymorph and to line up with Discern Transmutation in Perception. Alter self is largely ignored now though.


    That's actually a pretty big set of changes. If anyone here comes across something odd, feel free to let me know. I won't promise it'll get changed, since it may be working as intended, but it will certainly get looked at and discussed.
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    So, this is more or or less stream of consciousness notes, the first thing that comes to mind when reading this thread. I'll go over to the Wiki later.

    No skill points based on intelligence is a really new approach to me, and not one I've ever seen before. My first instinct is to cling to the fluff and say "But smart people learn more!" but we'll see where this goes. Your reasoning seems basically solid.
    An interesting side effect of that is that intelligence is now a "useless" attribute. It is, together with Charisma, the only attribute that doesn't seem to influence anything other than skill modifiers, outside of classes. Strength has breaking down doors and carrying capacity. Dexterity is AC and reflexes. Constitution is HP and fortitude and Wisdom is will saves. Pure int and cha are... nothing. THat said, the replacement save thing might save this.

    Cross class ranks: I think most house rule collections I've seen do this now. It just makes sense.

    Retraining: this is something I never liked. "Oh, no. Redgar can't climb anymore. He learned swimming this morning." It's... silly. Yes, I see the benefit of flexibility. And I dislike it.

    All boni are competence boni: why? I'd at least leave circumstance boni in. They make sense. A task is easier for some reason, so you have a +2. It's one of the DMs most important tools for players with creative planning.

    Skills unlock new abilities: no problems with that. Good thing. At least you didn't include Skill tricks, I hate them.

    Degrees of success are theoretically a good idea. I'm just wondering how complicated this system is now getting. Have you ever seen it in actual play?

    I'm not sure I like the "Taking 20 includes having rolled a 1" rule. Taking twenty usually represents being much, much more careful. I don't see "automatic failure first" working with this. "I'm taking this trap apart part by part with my finest tool and the plans open on my lap so nothing can go wrong!" -> Bang automatic failure, you die. This just doesn't seem right. Taking 20 is to avoid failures, not producing them.

    Knowledge skills. This, I think, is the first change that makes me go "nononono" in my head. That would never happen at my table. Knowledge skills are essential to the game. I don't want them handwaved. You say they depend on the type of campaign. So does every other skill. If you never need to know history, knowledge: history is useless. If you never get punched while spellcasting, concentration is just as useless. If we exclude every skill that could ever be useless, there would be nothing left.

    Also perform. It's an essential skill, and I wouldn't want it removed. Half my characters are either bards or practised performers, and I can think of a dozen anecdotes off-hand where a player's performance saved a campaign in some way. Same with knowledge. Walking on air comes up very rarely. Where it does, I'd probably just allow a player to do it for show (i.e. write it on their character sheet).

    I'll get to specific skill examples later.
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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    Responses bolded in quote for laziness :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    So, this is more or or less stream of consciousness notes, the first thing that comes to mind when reading this thread. I'll go over to the Wiki later.

    I appreciate the offer, but I won't hold you to it. It might be that this fails the "would you play it" question at the start, in which case I appreciate your taking a look at it but wouldn't ask for anything more.

    No skill points based on intelligence is a really new approach to me, and not one I've ever seen before. My first instinct is to cling to the fluff and say "But smart people learn more!" but we'll see where this goes. Your reasoning seems basically solid.
    An interesting side effect of that is that intelligence is now a "useless" attribute. It is, together with Charisma, the only attribute that doesn't seem to influence anything other than skill modifiers, outside of classes. Strength has breaking down doors and carrying capacity. Dexterity is AC and reflexes. Constitution is HP and fortitude and Wisdom is will saves. Pure int and cha are... nothing. That said, the replacement save thing might save this.

    It's mentioned above, but there's a suggestion in the full work to migrate Fort -> Str, Ref -> Int, and Will -> Cha in conjunction with the standard assignments being represented in skill format. If you don't like that suggestion, and I know plenty of people who don't, then I get to lean on people caring about skill abilities to not dump attributes. In playtesting (my groups and others), this is exactly what they've done.

    Cross class ranks: I think most house rule collections I've seen do this now. It just makes sense.

    Retraining: this is something I never liked. "Oh, no. Redgar can't climb anymore. He learned swimming this morning." It's... silly. Yes, I see the benefit of flexibility. And I dislike it.

    I haven't actually seen people retrain in playtesting, so I think most people just don't worry about it. So it's mostly an unrealized benefit, but one I wanted to make sure was available.

    All boni are competence boni: why? I'd at least leave circumstance boni in. They make sense. A task is easier for some reason, so you have a +2. It's one of the DMs most important tools for players with creative planning.

    That was not an intended casualty actually. "The DM's best friend" +/-2 modifier should be in there still.

    Skills unlock new abilities: no problems with that. Good thing. At least you didn't include Skill tricks, I hate them.

    Degrees of success are theoretically a good idea. I'm just wondering how complicated this system is now getting. Have you ever seen it in actual play?

    Yes, and gotten playtest reports. There's some extra lookup at the table involved, but everyone who has tried it has been fine with the slight delay in lookup given the other things that came along with it (and there's arguably less slowdown in other places that makes up for it anyway).

    I'm not sure I like the "Taking 20 includes having rolled a 1" rule. Taking twenty usually represents being much, much more careful. I don't see "automatic failure first" working with this. "I'm taking this trap apart part by part with my finest tool and the plans open on my lap so nothing can go wrong!" -> Bang automatic failure, you die. This just doesn't seem right. Taking 20 is to avoid failures, not producing them.

    The taking 20 rule also normally doesn't allow you to do it in a lot of situations. It's a mechanical representation of rolling over and over again until you get a 20, which often involves rolling very low first. This is just a different form of the rule so that I don't have to include "yes take 20" / "no take 20" on abilities. Instead I can just say "you can take 20 whenever you want, but it might not work out".

    Knowledge skills. This, I think, is the first change that makes me go "nononono" in my head. That would never happen at my table. Knowledge skills are essential to the game. I don't want them handwaved. You say they depend on the type of campaign. So does every other skill. If you never need to know history, knowledge: history is useless. If you never get punched while spellcasting, concentration is just as useless. If we exclude every skill that could ever be useless, there would be nothing left.

    Also perform. It's an essential skill, and I wouldn't want it removed. Half my characters are either bards or practised performers, and I can think of a dozen anecdotes off-hand where a player's performance saved a campaign in some way. Same with knowledge. Walking on air comes up very rarely. Where it does, I'd probably just allow a player to do it for show (i.e. write it on their character sheet).

    The intent here isn't to exclude skills that could be useless (climb and swim are still in after all), but to exclude skills that don't scale like the others so that you don't spend character power on character fluff. When you get to specific skill examples, I hope it's more obvious what the differences between them are. I am working on more concrete methods of breaking these things down, because people want to play master flutists and smiths and sages and don't want to just write it in their backgrounds, but the skill point method is basically a non-starter with everything else.

    As for the idea that air-walking comes up rarely, I really don't know how to respond. Flight comes up all the time in my games, much more often than performances, and since air walk is just another form of that it too comes up all the time. And I'd rather codify that sort of thing in the advancement rules than hope that nice DMs (like you apparently) would just let people write it on their sheet a certain point.


    I'll get to specific skill examples later.
    It's so much easier to respond to comments on your own work than examine the work of others in detail...
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    Thing is, I just don't see how you can say that Knowledge or Perform don't scale in the way climb does. I mean, why is the one fluff, but the other isn't? If I can just write "great sage" on my sheet, why not write "great climber"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    Fluff may be the wrong word for it, so let me try to explain my goals a bit better. When I talk about scaling, I mean scaling abilities in addition to scaling numbers. I don't ever want a situation where a player has to choose between walking on water / air, scaring a dozen soldiers, or having a slightly better chance of identifying stone masonry. The latter might be useful, but it's just a numbers boost instead of an ability boost / addition.

    Knowledge skills also do things for the game that I just don't like - make the best sages in the world also high level. Same with crafters, performers, and professioners. The best people in their field aren't the people who spent years and decades perfecting their art, they are people who treated these things as secondary concerns while they were out slaying monsters and gaining levels. So eliminating them as a skill, as a thing that you have to spend points on and has a rank cap, means that they can be as high or low as you want.

    There's reasons to limit something like climb based on level though. I don't think it's appropriate for level 1 characters to climb walls of force, for example, but I do think it's appropriate for that sort of thing to be available at some point and be reasonably reliable eventually as well. So while I'm perfectly happy with someone writing "great sage of X" on their sheet at level 1, I'm much less so with someone writing "great climber" on their sheet (unless they mean that in a very mundane sense).

    This doesn't mean that people don't have knowledge, perform, or craft things anymore though. You can still take knowledge (nobility) or (planes), and so on, and you can do it at any level that you want. You can have both knowledge about things or skill with instruments independent of your level as well as character power limited by your level, you just don't spend the same character resources on them. That's what I meant above when I said I was working on something for them.
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    Hm. Okay, I can see that reasoning, even if I don't necessarily agree with everything you said. And finding abilities for Knowledge would be quite difficult.

    I could actually see Perform in the way you laid it out up there, though. There have to be roughly ten thousand quasi-magical applications for music. I guess it would make the bard class superfluous, though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Tome of Prowess - A complete skills rewrite and revision [3.5e, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I could actually see Perform in the way you laid it out up there, though. There have to be roughly ten thousand quasi-magical applications for music. I guess it would make the bard class superfluous, though.
    Yeah, I toyed with that one a lot before finally dropping it actually. There's a lot of things you could put in it, enough that you could make several thematically appropriate performs actually. But it does diminish the bard a lot, and I ultimately decided to let people be concert flutists or super drummers on their own, but get any magical bits from performances out of being a bard.

    Now, if you wanted to replace the Bard with the Duskblade or Beguiler and do a bunch of perform skills for people instead, that's pretty workable. But it wasn't something I wanted to do to start.
    www.dnd-wiki.org - My home away from home

    My skills rewrite - Making mundane a level range, not a descriptor

    Warning About My Comments:
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    I prefer higher powered games, do not consider magic to be "special", and want non-casters to have similar levels of utility. If you haven't clearly said what your balance goals are, my suggestions generally reflect that. I'm pretty good with other balance points too though, so if I'm offering OP advice, let me know and I'll fix that.

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