Synergy bonusses

dKd

Mongoose
Hey everyone,

Been GM'ing Conan for a year and a half now and it's going quite smoothly. The players (3, now 4) really dig the setting and are enjoying themselves.

So far so good.
This new player has created a Vendhyan Noble and put lots of skill points into 'speech' skills.

My question is, do the synergy bonusses conferred on diplomacy stack?
F.e. Rank 5 in Bluff gives +2 and Rank 5 in Sense motive as well.
does this become +4 total or what ???

This might not seem such a big deal, but if everything stacks, then he'll have a +6 rank bonus in no time (+4 already), which would give him something like 11 or 13 in diplomacy (at 4th level!).
I've tried talking him out of putting so many points into the skill, but somehow he would like to be able to solve any barroom brawl or NPC dispute with a mere roll of the dice, so there you go...

Opinions welcomed,
Dirk.
 

Aelric

Mongoose
I think it dose stack and I would go with it.If he role-plays it right he could be a intresting char. for the party but then you never know sometimes being to smart you might insult the person instead of peacing the person.
 

Oly

Mongoose
My understanding is that synergy bonuses don't stack. It's a rule in D20/D&D that like named bonuses don't stack (with some exceptions such as dodge bonuses), I'm not sure if that rule made it over to Conan or not.

The following is from this page http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/rg/20040210a

Unnamed Bonuses
A bonus that doesn't have a name stacks with anything except itself. This is always true, but it's sometimes hard to remember. For example, many feats provide unnamed bonuses, so don't panic when you read a feat description and it provides a bonus without a name. An unnamed bonus from a feat stacks with any other bonus; however you can't stack that unnamed bonus if you take the feat twice.

Synergy Bonuses: What once was called a synergy bonus in the previous version of the D&D game is now just an unnamed bonus. For example, if you have 5 or more ranks in the Handle Animal skill, you get a +2 bonus on Ride checks and wild empathy checks. As an unnamed bonus, this stacks with other bonuses you might have to Ride checks or wild empathy checks.

Key points being "a bonus that doesn't have a name stacks with anything except itself" and "What once was called a synergy bonus ... is now just an unnamed bonus". Therefore a synergy bonus won't stack with itself, you only get it once. Well that's how I read it anyway.

I think that Conan would also follow the same logic and it feels right to me that it works that way.
 

geordiekimbo

Mongoose
Personally I'd say they stack, thats the way we play it in my group. Gives an edge at lower levels, but balances out at higher level.
 

Trodax

Mongoose
Oly said:
Key points being "a bonus that doesn't have a name stacks with anything except itself" and "What once was called a synergy bonus ... is now just an unnamed bonus". Therefore a synergy bonus won't stack with itself, you only get it once. Well that's how I read it anyway.
I would read it as "A Bluff synergy bonus to Diplomacy (+2 Diplomacy for 5 ranks in Bluff) doesn't stack with itself (not that its possible to get that bonus twice, but still :wink: ), but does stack with the Sense Motive synergy bonus to Diplomacy (+2 Diplomacy for 5 ranks in Sense Motive)".

We've always played that synergy bonuses stack. Haven't ever thought about it before, though. At least I don't think its hugely overpowering to have them stack.
 

Oly

Mongoose
OK it looks like I'm going to have to backtrack a bit here.....

In D&D 3.0 Synergy bonuses are named bonuses and it's explicitly stated in the glossary of the PHB that they stack.

In 3.5 they became unnamed bonuses, does anyone have a 3.5 PHB to hand to see if the glossary entry for them has been changed?

Still it does indeed look like the intention of the D20 system is that synergy bonuses do stack....
 
I've always taken it that a synergy bonus is effectively a [name of skill]bonus, so synergy bonuses from different skills would stack as they are in fact different kinds of bonus.
In the example given, Bluff is aiding the Diplomacy check by making it easier to put a persuasive spin on things, and Sense Motive is aiding it by reading the targets reactions to what's being said and adjusting accordingly.
Anyway, I echo the general opinion and say keep the silver-tongued Noble, it sounds like a refreshing change to solving problems with violence.
:twisted: Of course, if I were one of his companions, playing my usual Cimmerian sociopath character type, there'd probably be little chance to start Diplomacy and/or some very heavy circumstancial modifiers ["..and that's another +4 DC because Lorigan's throwing a table at his head..."]
 

Valaryc

Mongoose
dKd said:
I've tried talking him out of putting so many points into the skill, but somehow he would like to be able to solve any barroom brawl or NPC dispute with a mere roll of the dice, so there you go...

damn....you should be happy to have one or more players that wants to play an "diplomatic interactive" character and not just some maxed out axe swinging killing machine!

i don't think it's "overpowered" (think about a player that doesn't give a damn about "interactive" and creates his barbarian / soldier multiclass to maximize his killing capacity...even in low levels HE will be overpowered in comparision to a "normal fighter character" with some useful other feats / skills)....so let the bonus stack and be happy :)

dKd said:
... with a mere roll of the dice, so there you go...

don't let this be happening ! let him make the roll....but enforce some roleplaying and talking with that roll !!! give him a big negative modifier if he wants to "just roll the dice"...and give him a bonus if the player does some nice talking.

don't forget...it's ROLEplaying...not ROLLplaying!
 

GrimJesta

Mongoose
Valaryc said:
dKd said:
... with a mere roll of the dice, so there you go...

don't let this be happening ! let him make the roll....but enforce some roleplaying and talking with that roll !!! give him a big negative modifier if he wants to "just roll the dice"...and give him a bonus if the player does some nice talking.

don't forget...it's ROLEplaying...not ROLLplaying!

Remember dKd, that as the DM you have the ability to give various bonuses and penalties to dice rolls based on situational modifiers. When it comes to Diplomacy checks or Bluff checks, a player's roleplaying determines this bonus or penalty. So just rolling the dice would nail you with a penalty to the roll, since you're basically just staring at the guy (since no one's roleplaying). On the other hand, if he pulls off some brilliant roleplaying, you award a bonus to the roll.

It's just light swinging a sword. In perfect conditions you'd have only your total attack bonus, but fighting on slippery slopes, in a downpour, at night, hits you with a penalty. Diplomacy is no different.

As for syngery stacking... I had an opinion on it until I read all of this thread. Now I'm unsure. Argh.

-=Grim=-
 

dKd

Mongoose
Thanks for the hearty response guys,

I will let the bonusses stack, we'll see what comes out of it.
As some of you rightly pointed out, it's Roleplaying and not rollplaying.
That was my objection to this statmaxing, and i'll make sure he doesn't forget it.

On another note, have any of you guys been somewhat disappointed with the Hyboria's Finest/... series?
I lack equipment, more special stuff. As I see it, it's just a bunch of descriptions of each class for each race, not very inspiring. The extra class mixes are somewhat interesting, but all in all, I can't justify the money I put down for them.

Stygia on the other hand looks quite good. Except for storyhooks,scenario tips... (just a couple of pages at the end) :(

cYa,
Dirk - dKd.
 

Hexaphim

Mongoose
dKd said:
On another note, have any of you guys been somewhat disappointed with the Hyboria's Finest/... series?

I, for one, love the Hyboria's F- books. I really like the regional suggestions for each class (one of my players is going the Barbarian as Gladiator route from Hyboria's Fiercest), and the multiclass options are inspired and inspirational as far as I'm concerned. I am a bit overwhelmed by all the feats spread over these books, as I have enough to cope with the ones in the rulebook! :)

I'm GMing my first game tomorrow, and I'm not going to incorporate the more "advanced" stuff from the supplements just yet, but it's nice to know that I have options once we all get used to the rules (and flavor!) of Conan.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Synergy is a flat +2 bonus, so you can only get synergy from one source by the rules. A +4 is a pretty heafty bump, and ther are feats that can give even greater bonuses pretty quickly (Scan the Crowd, for example, from Fallen). I'd say +2 max from any sort of syergy.

On the other hand, I award synergy bonuses for lots of occasions and cater it to the situation. If the player can make a valid argument as to why she should have a synergy bonus to Profession:Acrobat because she's trying to impress the leader of a band of travelling performers and has 5 Diplomacy, I say go for it usually. After all, it's only a +2 bonus.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
According to the SRD, they do stack: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm

Under Skill Synergy, it says, "In general, having 5 or more ranks in one skill gives the character a +2 bonus on skill checks with each of its synergistic skills, as noted in the skill description."

Hope this helps.
 

Oly

Mongoose
Bregales said:
According to the SRD, they do stack: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm

Under Skill Synergy, it says, "In general, having 5 or more ranks in one skill gives the character a +2 bonus on skill checks with each of its synergistic skills, as noted in the skill description."

That doesn't say that it stacks, just that a particular skill may give a synergy bonus to more than one other skill.

For example "Use Rope" has the following synergistic skills "Climb" and "Escape Artist" (in particular situations). The above extract from the SRD just clarifies that "Use Rope" can offer a +2 bonus to each of those skills.

So that extract doesn't answer the question.

As I've said above in D&D 3.0 Synergy bonuses are explicitly defined as stacking in the glossary of the PHB.

I'm not sure if the 3.5 PHB says the same. However one change that I do know of is that Synergy bonuses became unnamed bonuses and that unnamed bonuses usually stack. The extract of the SRD does show that the synergy doesn't give a "+2 synergy bonus" but just a "+2 bonus".

All things told I do think that synergy bonuses are meant to stack.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Oly said:
Bregales said:
According to the SRD, they do stack: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm

Under Skill Synergy, it says, "In general, having 5 or more ranks in one skill gives the character a +2 bonus on skill checks with each of its synergistic skills, as noted in the skill description."

That doesn't say that it stacks, just that a particular skill may give a synergy bonus to more than one other skill.

For example "Use Rope" has the following synergistic skills "Climb" and "Escape Artist" (in particular situations). The above extract from the SRD just clarifies that "Use Rope" can offer a +2 bonus to each of those skills.

So that extract doesn't answer the question.

As I've said above in D&D 3.0 Synergy bonuses are explicitly defined as stacking in the glossary of the PHB.

I'm not sure if the 3.5 PHB says the same. However one change that I do know of is that Synergy bonuses became unnamed bonuses and that unnamed bonuses usually stack. The extract of the SRD does show that the synergy doesn't give a "+2 synergy bonus" but just a "+2 bonus".

All things told I do think that synergy bonuses are meant to stack.
Fair enough, and good point. I claim rusty rules checks as our group quit playing Conan several months ago, so I haven't paid attention to the system for a while. I haven't had a 3.0 rulebook in a long time, so I'm not sure exactly how that glossary helps, but there's no such help in the 3.5 PHB., and after checking the 3.5 DMG there's nothing about synergy bonuses... (going over to WotC forum, something I've never done before, searching forums for answers on synergies)... Here's the answer from the D&D3.5FAQ (found on Wotc downloads at: http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/er/20030221a):

D&D FAQ v.3.5 1 Update Version: 4/26/06
D&D® Frequently Asked Questions
Version 3.5: Date Updated 4/26/06

Skills
The text for synergy under the Diplomacy skill on page 72 of the Player’s Handbook states: “If you have 5 or more ranks in Bluff, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), or Sense Motive, you get a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks.” I’m assuming that means if a character has 5 ranks in Bluff, Knowledge (nobility and royalty), and Sense Motive that the character would receive only a +2 synergy bonus on Diplomacy checks. Or would the character receive a +6 synergy bonus (+2 for each)?

The bonuses listed in the synergy section of a skill description are unnamed and so they stack. (There’s no such thing as a synergy bonus in the current edition of the D&D game.) The character in your example would receive a +6 bonus on Diplomacy checks.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Erm, but they are "named". They are named "synergy bonus".

Ah well. That's awefully high, but since Conan relies on the SRD to a good degree when in doubt, I guess we have to go with that. I'd always read it simply as "Skill A can grant synergy to skills B through Z if applicable".

It's jsut so easy to plop 5 ranks onto a skill and then quit, gaining attrocious ammounts of synergy as a result. Think of all the skills one can use untrained that would never need ranks at all and have a huge synergy bonus!
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Well, it was a quote from the official update, is all I can say. :p At least it says they stack and so the argument is solved.

But really, even amongst the rules cheese guys I play with (powergamers) no one has gone to max out synergy bonuses yet; about the closest has been amongst the cloistered clerics who are concentrating on their investigative & religious skills. Didn't see it in the almost 2 years we had played Conan though.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Yeah, me either, and that's why I sort of generously hand out synergy bonuses if the player can give a solid reason why they should have one, even if it isn't spelled out in the actual skill description. However, if they're supposed to stack, that cracks the system a bit IMO.

I'll just have to keep that under wraps from my players as long as possible, I guess...

lol
 

Oly

Mongoose
Sutek said:
Erm, but they are "named". They are named "synergy bonus".

Yup it does sound really wierd but that's D20/D&D for you.....

I think they did it because "named" bonuses don't usually stack. Rather than have Skill Synergy give a "Synergy Bonus" and make it exception to that rule they just changed it to give an "unnamed bonus".

Always seemed to have stacked, they just seem to have changed the reason why.

(shrug)
 
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