Limiting some skills...


The friend who will GM Conan for our group has a problem with some skills getting to high... specifically: Spot and Listen.

Initially he wanted to limit the amount of skill points one can invest in those skills, but since both are used in checks against other skills one has to limit those as well: Hide and Move Silently (maybe Disguise and Slight of Hand as well??)

Personally I see no problem, but it's his game so I'm helping as much as I can. We thought that the simplest way will be to make all those skills Cross-Class by base to all Classes except for the thief who will be able to have them at Cross-Class + 1

Ideas, suggestions, recommendations...

I don't see what the problem is.
The PCs need high Spot and Listen to keep from bumping into things or getting eaten prematurely.
Instead of limiting the PC stats, I would make the respective opposed check number even higher (e.g. for Move Silently, Hide, etc.)
Have the NPCs take 10, take 20 on Move Silently, Hide...
I can't really see the problem either, and my basic advice would be to leave things as are.

What is it your GM doesn't like about high Spot/Listen scores? Is it:

1) He thinks it makes it too easy for the PCs to succeed at checks.
In this case, the easiest thing would be to, as Yogah said, just raise the DCs or make the NPCs better at Hide/Move Silently.

2) He thinks Spot/Listen should basically be innate abilities, and not something you should be able to get better at with experience.
In this case its a bit trickier to come up with a solution, but I guess you could in some way limit the number of ranks you can put into the skills. Personally I don't really like this solution, as I think it will mess around with a lot of things (if you make them cross-class skills, that will affect the balance between the classes, and also, just as you said, things will become weird when it comes to opposed checks against Hide/Move Silently).
Yeah, I don't get this either. What does your friend mean by "too high", there is no such thing as "too high" for opposed rolls because properly-leveled NPC's will have equally high checks.

Does your friend have much experience with the d20 system?
The other question is: what level are you going to play (start) at? You can only have up to your class level +3 ranks in any class skill and the max ranks are halved for cross-classed skills (1st ed p80, AE p74-5, Pocket p110,). So a 1st level character could have up to 4 ranks in a class skill or 2 in a cross-class skill. So remember, you add together your ability modifier to your RANKS in a skill, plus any additional mods (racial bonuses or synergy bonuses or other temporary modifiers). I agree with the previous replies, modify the DC to overcome the players' skills or increase their counter skills (e.g., Hide or Move Silently) or add other Favorable or Unfavorable (or reflexive) conditions.

Also, Search is often used as well, and fewer classes get Search as a class skill than Spot. More, but not all, classes get Spot than Listen or Search, but very few (and Barbarian isn't one of them!) get all three as class skills.