What changes would YOU make to Conan Second Edition?

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Trodax
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Postby Trodax » Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:21 am

Netherek wrote:Well an easy fix would be to restrict Imp. and greater versions to 10 and 15 character levels respectively as without that feat that is the minimum level you can get access to those particular feats.

So in retrospect Mobility class feature would state that if you already have Mobility and are at least of 10th level than you gain Improved.
That works.
Netherek wrote:But really it is spending an extra feat to be powerful early but lose out in the long run as they lose that bonus feat at 15th.
In my game I never play as high as 15th level, so you wouldn't loose out at all... Also, it might be a good idea if you're going to multiclass (say, barbarian 10/thief 10 for example).
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Trodax
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Postby Trodax » Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:25 am

* Remove the Knowledge (Dungeoneering) skill!!!

* Possibly include the Knowledge (Mystery: God) skill from Stygia and Faith & Fervour. That would mean that the religion writeups should probably also include some rules for this.
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Postby slaughterj » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:13 pm

Sutek wrote:Yeah, but Improved Mobility gets you "Never provoke AOOs if moving at least 10 feet" and Greater gets you "Take a normal move instead of a 5ft step".

The latter propells characters into Sneak attack positions faster than you can imagine, and all for just taking Dodge (largely useless later on) and then Mobility at third level.

Soldier/Thief characters are nasty with this combo.
How? Neither Soldier nor Thief can get Improved or Greater Mobility. Those are only class features of Barbarian, Nomad, and Pirate.
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Postby jadrax » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:25 pm

Trodax wrote:* Remove the Knowledge (Dungeoneering) skill!!!

* Possibly include the Knowledge (Mystery: God) skill from Stygia and Faith & Fervour. That would mean that the religion writeups should probably also include some rules for this.
Oh god yes on removing the horrible Dungeoneering skill!

Maybe but Knowledge Warfare in the core rules, i like that one as it means you can have professional warriors that actually know thing s about war. (And +2 Initiative rocks ;o)
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Postby Trodax » Sat Dec 09, 2006 12:56 pm

jadrax wrote:Maybe but Knowledge Warfare in the core rules, i like that one as it means you can have professional warriors that actually know thing s about war. (And +2 Initiative rocks ;o)
Good idea. What I wouldn't mind seeing, actually, is two new skills: Warfare and Sailing (to replace Knowledge: War and Profession: Sailor); I think they are important enough elements of the setting to have their own skills. Sailing would then be a class skill for the Pirate, and Warfare for the Noble and Soldier. This wouldn't make any mechanical difference, of course, I just think the character sheet would look more Conanesque. :wink:
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Postby thulsa » Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:11 am

Trodax wrote:What I wouldn't mind seeing, actually, is two new skills: Warfare and Sailing (to replace Knowledge: War and Profession: Sailor); I think they are important enough elements of the setting to have their own skills. Sailing would then be a class skill for the Pirate, and Warfare for the Noble and Soldier. This wouldn't make any mechanical difference, of course, I just think the character sheet would look more Conanesque. :wink:
I don't really see the point if the mechanics stay the same. This would just serve to make the Conan RPG less "compatible" with the standard d20 system. I'm all for changing the rules to reflect the setting (such as DR for armor, etc.), but renaming stuff just for the sake of flavor makes it harder to learn and memorize the system (for example, it takes more explanation to recruit an existing d20/D&D player to the Conan system).

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Trodax
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Postby Trodax » Sun Dec 10, 2006 1:24 pm

thulsa wrote:I don't really see the point if the mechanics stay the same. This would just serve to make the Conan RPG less "compatible" with the standard d20 system. I'm all for changing the rules to reflect the setting (such as DR for armor, etc.), but renaming stuff just for the sake of flavor makes it harder to learn and memorize the system (for example, it takes more explanation to recruit an existing d20/D&D player to the Conan system).
Yeah, you have a point there. There would actually be a small mechanical difference with my proposed alteration, though, in the sense that Sailing would become more of a pirate-specific thing (almost all classes have Profession as a class skill) and Warfare wouldn't be a scholar class skill (they have Knowledge (any) as a class skill). Whether you like that change or not is a different question; I think it makes sense that pirates have an advantage for being good sailors and that going to war is not a scholarly pursuit.
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Postby thulsa » Sun Dec 10, 2006 3:28 pm

Trodax wrote:Whether you like that change or not is a different question; I think it makes sense that pirates have an advantage for being good sailors and that going to war is not a scholarly pursuit.
It's hard to disagree with this.

While we're on the topic of skills, I'd like to point out that the whole skill system could need some simplification. It's pretty easy if you're single-class and you max out all skills, but once you start multi-classing and whatnot, things start to get complicated (or at least, it takes a lot of time to figure out).

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.

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Postby Foxworthy » Sun Dec 10, 2006 7:30 pm

Trodax wrote:
thulsa wrote:I don't really see the point if the mechanics stay the same. This would just serve to make the Conan RPG less "compatible" with the standard d20 system. I'm all for changing the rules to reflect the setting (such as DR for armor, etc.), but renaming stuff just for the sake of flavor makes it harder to learn and memorize the system (for example, it takes more explanation to recruit an existing d20/D&D player to the Conan system).
Yeah, you have a point there. There would actually be a small mechanical difference with my proposed alteration, though, in the sense that Sailing would become more of a pirate-specific thing (almost all classes have Profession as a class skill) and Warfare wouldn't be a scholar class skill (they have Knowledge (any) as a class skill). Whether you like that change or not is a different question; I think it makes sense that pirates have an advantage for being good sailors and that going to war is not a scholarly pursuit.
Well pirates aren't the only sailers though. It's a profession cause anyone can learn to sail. Pirates class abilities make them diffrent from normal sailors. Seamanship is what makes the pirate a better sailor.

I've also thought that Warfare was a knowledge to represent the fact that manners scholars could study warfare and tatics. Knowledge (Warfare) shouldn't make them better at fighting in a war, but they should be able to plan a war. Plus going to war is more covered by BAB and feats that allow you to fight which the scholar don't have. Or represented by the leadership ability of nobles.
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Postby sbarrie » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:08 am

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.

- thulsa
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.

Barbarian – Climb, Survival, Swim

Borderer – Spot, Survival, Swim

Noble – Diplomacy, Knowledge (Nobility), Perform (pick one)

Nomad – Handle Animal, Ride, Survival

Pirate – Balance, Profession (Sailor), Use Rope
May replace Balance with Swim, with the obvious implications

Thief – 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)

Temptress – 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)

Scholar – Decipher Script, Knowledge (History)
or Knowledge (Religion), Profession (Priest)

Soldier – 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.
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Postby Trodax » Mon Dec 11, 2006 7:31 am

Re: Skill packages and the like.

I actually like the skill rules pretty much as they are, and am not too fond of various options such as these. I also like the fact that you can have just a few ranks in a number of skills, as opposed to every skill always being maxed out.

What I do think should be done to make everything easier and less confusing when multiclassing is to remove the limitation of (level+3)/2 for cross-class skills. The fact that cross-class skills cost two skill points per rank is absolutely a severe enough penalty to limit them (I don't think I've ever seen anybody buy cross-class skills at the 2-for-1 cost). However, this does depend on whether you think cross-skills bought with Int points have a limit of (level+3) or (level+3)/2; as I read the rules the limit is (level+3) which makes the cross-class maximum even more pointless (people will get what they want with Int points).

BTW, this is something that should be clarified in 2nd edition: do cross-class skills bought with Int points still have to abide by the (level+3)/2 maximum, or are they bought as class skills in all regards (ie. level+3)?

Anyway, to sum up this somewhat confusingly written post, I think the cleanest way to do skills would be to have the following rules:
* Class skills are bought on a 1-for-1 basis.
* Cross-class skills are bought on a 2-for-1 basis.
* Points from having a positive Int modifier can be spent on any skill on a 1-for-1 basis.
* The maximum number of ranks you may have in a skill is always your character level + 3.
sbarrie wrote:Just my small way of balancing the grave difference between a character who goes Soldier-Thief as opposed to Thief-Soldier.
I do agree that it would be nice if this was more balanced. A Soldier/Thief gains 18 skill points if he starts with Thief at first level, and 2 hp if he starts with Soldier. Thief is a much, much better starting point.

I'd like to see it done along the lines that Ichabod suggested:
Ichabod wrote:First level - Change the initial skill ranks to a fixed number (like 20) plus 4xINT Mod. plus one level of first level class. Or, some other method that doesn't encourage taking only a limited number of classes at first level.
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Postby Valgrim Bragisson » Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:11 am

In the group I play in, we have a house rule that you pay 1-for-1 for cross- class ranks baught with INT bonus points, but have to stay within the cross-class rank limit. Otherwise there is no meaningful differance between class and cross-class skills. The RAW does let you take them to lvl+3, though.
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Postby slaughterj » Tue Dec 12, 2006 3:17 pm

Valgrim wrote:In the group I play in, we have a house rule that you pay 1-for-1 for cross- class ranks baught with INT bonus points, but have to stay within the cross-class rank limit. Otherwise there is no meaningful differance between class and cross-class skills. The RAW does let you take them to lvl+3, though.
If you are super-smart and can readily learn something outside your class (i.e., allocate INT bonus skill points to cross-class skill), why should you still be limited by cross-class limits? Seems to not make sense, to be overly restrictive for no real reason, to require more complex bookkeeping (think about the PC who multiclasses so a skill is a class skill for one class and not for another, and then you have to do the math to make sure it doesn't violate this house rule rather than using the simple rule of level+3), etc.
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Postby Sutek » Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:39 pm

Well, if you don't like math, RPGing isn't really for you. (lol)

I think the (LVL+3)/2 limit for Cross Class ranks is fine. If you want to truly excel in a profession, you should take that profession. You can't have everything all of the time, and artificial limitations are what fantasy role playing is all about.

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Postby Trodax » Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:30 pm

As I see it, the thing with the rules as they are now is this:

* If you have a positive Int modifier, you can always use your bonus skill points to buy up cross-class skills to level+3. IOW, there is no point in having the (level+3)/2 maximum as you can always get what you want with the Int points.

* If you don't have a positive Int modifier, then all cross-class skills will have to be bought at a 2-for-1 cost. This is extremely expensive, and in almost all cases means that you will not be bying any cross-class skills at all. IOW, there is no need for the (level+3)/2 maximum.

The (level+3)/2 maximum is a pretty insignificant rule. What it does mostly is add confusion regarding multiclassing.
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Postby Sutek » Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:07 pm

Yeah. Particularly when there's more than two classes involved. :shock:

However, the rule should stay as is, but because it's a balancing principle. Because skill points gained from the character's class spend on cross class skills at 2 for 1, the off-set is that skill points gained from high INT can be spent on such skills at 1 for 1. The max ranks limit is still a good way to suggest that if you want a skill to be higher, choose the proper class with that skill as a class skill.

What needs to be revised, maybe, is what skills are class skills. Nomads have Knowledge (Local), but yet they are wandering tribes of horsemen?
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Postby Netherek » Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:31 pm

Nomad's knowledge local applies to their local area, such as tribes and the like.
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Postby slaughterj » Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:40 pm

Trodax wrote:The (level+3)/2 maximum is a pretty insignificant rule. What it does mostly is add confusion regarding multiclassing.
Exactly.
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Postby slaughterj » Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:40 pm

Sutek wrote:Well, if you don't like math, RPGing isn't really for you. (lol)

I think the (LVL+3)/2 limit for Cross Class ranks is fine. If you want to truly excel in a profession, you should take that profession. You can't have everything all of the time, and artificial limitations are what fantasy role playing is all about.

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Postby Foxworthy » Tue Dec 12, 2006 8:49 pm

Netherek wrote:Nomad's knowledge local applies to their local area, such as tribes and the like.
Though they should have Knoweldge (Geography) as well. Personally I hate the name Knowledge (Local) since the skill isn't set to one location. A better name would be awesome.
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