thulsa wrote:In addition to cutting down on the number of skills by combining things like Spot and Listen into "Sense" and Move Silently and Hide into "Stealth", I've been thinking that perhaps there could be "Skill Packages" that would depend on the character's background.
So, for example, a smuggler would get one set of skills, while a sailor would get another, professional soldiers yet another set, and so on. Cavalrymen, priests, assassins, merchants, prostitutes, etc., etc.; there could be a big list of skill packages.
Then, you would get 1 skill rank for each character level for all the skills in that skill package. For example, a 5th-level character with the "smuggler" skill package would get 5 ranks in Bluff, Hide, Gather Information, etc. Each modified by the appropriate ability score as usual.
You could spend a feat (or two) to get additional skill packages after your character has been created.
Also, high Int scores could be used to learn extra skills that are not in your character's skill packages.
I'm just brainstorming this as I'm typing it out, so maybe this would not work well in practice; but it would be nice to tie what a character knows into his background instead of his class, and to simplify things in the process. That way, you'd only need to determine what the character has done in the past to know what skills he has, and the character level tells you his skill.
Here's something simlar (but not identical) that I have planned for my new campaign:
Every character gets a skill group depending on their first level class. Every skill point spent into the skill group increases all the skills by one level, regardless of multiclassing and cross classing.
– Climb, Survival, Swim
– Spot, Survival, Swim
– Diplomacy, Knowledge (Nobility), Perform (pick one)
– Handle Animal, Ride, Survival
– Balance, Profession (Sailor), Use Rope
May replace Balance with Swim, with the obvious implications
– Choose one set
Climb, Use Rope (Second Story Man)
Disguise, Perform (pick one) (Theatrics)
Balance, Tumble (Thief-Acrobat)
Escape Artist, Open Locks (Habitual Offender)
Gather Information, Knowledge (Local) (Connected)
Appraise, Forgery, Profession (Fence) (see Hyboria's Fallen page xx for information on fencing) (Honest Merchant)
– Choose one set
Knowledge (Religion), Profession (Temple Prostitute) (Temple Prostitute)
Handle Animal, Profession(Farmer), Ride (Farmer's Daughter)
Knowledge (Local), Profession (Prostitute) (Prostitute)
Gather Information, Knowledge (Nobility) (Socialite)
Balance, Perform (Dance) (Dancer)
Disguise, Sleight of Hand (Infiltrator)
– Decipher Script, Knowledge (History)
or Knowledge (Religion), Profession (Priest)
– Jump, Swim, Heal (Trained Athletics)
Note that those classes who get a big skill point load at first level have a smaller skill group. Just my small way of balancing the grave difference between a character who goes Soldier-Thief as opposed to Thief-Soldier.
I'm not really happy with the Soldier and Borderer yet.