Abilities of characters that typically, but not always, apply to a wider setting than simply combat.

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RPG Systems with Attribute-based learning speed

I'm a first time poster (but an old time lurker on stackoverflow). I'm implementing a RPG system (personal use only) that is currently in beta testing. The idea for skills and progression is that ...
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1answer
156 views

How does the Ambitious Schemer racial trait for Drow work?

I'm confused here. It is written "You may choose either Bluff or Diplomacy as a class skill, and gain a +2 bonus on such skill checks." So, how it works with regular class skills?
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1answer
445 views

“If I have 3 or more ranks…” What does that mean?

In some skills, it is written that if you have three or more ranks in the skill, something will happen, such as the Acrobatics skill: If you have 3 or more ranks in Acrobatics, you gain a +3 dodge ...
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5answers
658 views

What 3–4 social skills would cover every need?

I'm building a role-playing system and am just thinking about the social skills. In D20, you have like appraise, barter, intimidate, gather information, and then the really useful diplomacy, bluff ...
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1answer
185 views

Can a spellcraft check reveal the target of a spell?

You can use spellcraft to identify a spell as it is being cast. But does this check let you know the target of the spell? As an example of when this could matter quite a lot, Dominate allows you to ...
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4answers
332 views

Will a house-rule for trained skills work?

I've been using a house rule for a while now. If you have a trained skill, and you are making a knowledge check it's free. For example, if you are trained in nature, and fighting natural beasts; you ...
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3answers
2k views

How to roll perception checks for characters who aren't actively looking?

This applies to all d20 systems, but with an example from the from the Pathfinder PRD (emphasis mine): Stonecunning: Dwarves receive a +2 bonus on Perception checks to potentially notice unusual ...
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1answer
787 views

How does the +3 for class skills work when multiclassing a new class?

Inspired by this question: Class skill +3, when you have 1 rank in that skill OK, I have a fighter with a ranks in (for example) Acrobatics. Then I gain a level and add a Rogue. Now, if I started ...
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5answers
563 views

What skill to use to determine cause of death and analyse wounds?

When running Pathfinder one of the players wanted his character to investigate how a walking corpse had originally died. This obviously calls for some skill check, as the task if far from easy (the ...
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4answers
1k views

What kind of rulings predated ability or skill checks in old school D&D?

As I grow more weary of 4E and more nostalgic for my days playing 2E, I'm spending more and more time reading the old rules and the retroclones. I'm having a great time. One of the things that I ...
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2answers
2k views

Do Class Skill Bonuses Count as Ranks?

In Pathfinder do class skill bonuses count as ranks, especially for the purpose of prestige classing, or are they a generic bonus? If they are a bonus, how should I adjust the required ranks for ...
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3answers
2k views

How does an opposed (stealth) check work?

I was reading the Players Handbook 1 and I don't understand how the opposed check works, especially in context of a stealth check.
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5answers
426 views

Skill Proficiency vs. Character Backstory

I have found myself in a position, as a DM, that is causing me some discomfort. What do I do when, in a specific situation, a PC's back-story and skill proficiency do not match? This has occurred to ...
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3answers
847 views

How much should I reveal on a successful creature Knowledge check?

I am a very new GM, with new players as well, and I am wondering how much information on a creature I should reveal if they make a successful nature/arcana/religion/whatever check. My players want to ...
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2answers
617 views

How to manage character arguments / conflict?

I'm a new DM and have just started a 4e game as Play by Post. The game has started with one character (Bob) recruiting in a pub and the first response was from another character (Al) wanting to ...
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1answer
330 views

Can all skills and feats be used in conjunction with Magic Jar?

The spell Magic Jar allows you to possess a nearby creature. The spell states: If you are successful, your life force occupies the host body, and the host's life force is imprisoned in the magic ...
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3answers
1k views

Does a monster knowledge check allow the character to learn everything about a monster's powers?

A monster knowledge check, if successful grants: The character identifies the monster and knows its origin, type, typical temperament, and keywords. If the character meets of exceeds the hard ...
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6answers
840 views

How can I make monster knowledge checks fun?

By now most players know, or should know, that a monster knowledge check can make all the difference when you’re fighting a monster for the very first time. But how can we make them both fun and not ...
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1answer
308 views

If I train a skill via a feat, do I get to retrain that skill?

If I have previously trained Perception in Star wars Saga Edition, and I later buy Force Perception (Train Perception, and roll UtF for it instead) can I retrain the skill training lost? The ...
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4answers
1k views

When should I allow Intimidate checks to rout enemies in 4e?

I know that in 4th edition, you're allowed to make an Intimidate check against a bloodied enemy to send it running. As far as I've seen in the rules, there doesn't seem to be any real limitation ...
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9answers
562 views

What game systems determine skill levels only through use?

Is there a table top game similar to the video game Dungeon Siege where you don't really pick a class but what you become depends on what you do? You cast magic your magic skill increases, you beat ...
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4answers
961 views

How can acrobatics be used to move through an enemy occupied square?

According to the AcrobaticsDDI skill you can use an Acrobatic Stunt to "somersault over an opponent", amongst other things . It gives a base DC of 15, and "the DM sets the DC based on the complexity ...
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4answers
733 views

Dark Sun 4E: Is Religion a useless skill?

1. Is Religion a useless skill in 4E Dark Sun? I know the Divine Power classes are out (aside from house rules) and was thinking that Religion as a knowledge class is of limited or virtually no ...
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1answer
289 views

Can a creature use an Immediate Interrupt (Trigger: Enemy Movement) against his own forced Move Action?

If a creature has an Immediate Interrupt action with a Trigger: Enemy Movement - can the creature use an ability that forcefully pulls the target - then immediately after pulling the target, invoke ...
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3answers
153 views

Can I Rope Check After Tripping?

I can't find anywhere stating when I can use my rope skill to tie someone up. I know it's obvious that if they're incapacitated I should question this but I'm wondering if, after I trip them and ...
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4answers
277 views

Does finding and removing a trap require one or two find/remove traps rolls?

Most of the question's above. I shall be running a campaign tomorrow where thieves and traps may have a higher profile than usual, and it occurred to me to wonder whether the thief skill of ...
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5answers
3k views

What classes other than Rogue can initially train in Thievery?

My gaming buddies and I are about to start up a second group to play D&D 4e with, and I'm looking for a class to replace the rogue to freshen things up a little. The only problem is that Thievery ...
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3answers
850 views

Comprehend Languages vs. Linguistics

Given the nature of the spell Comprehend Languages in Pathfinder, is there any particular advantage to taking Linguistics for a character who can cast it? Especially given the chance of severe (or ...
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2answers
387 views

What is the penalty for stealthing at normal speed?

In both Pathfinder and D&D 3.5e, the rules for stealthing (Stealth, Hide and Move Silently) state: When moving at a speed greater than half but less than your normal speed, you take a –5 ...
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8answers
619 views

Which systems do you find most realistically model progression through skills?

The role-playing systems I've played so far seem to either provide a mostly artificial skill system progression, or ignore skill progression entirely. I'd like to learn about, and maybe try playing, ...
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10answers
476 views

What is the best way to do search, or spot test when players knowing the result of their roll will colour their perception of the result?

What is the best way to do search or spot tests when knowing the outcome of the roll will colour the players' perception of the result? For example: a Paladin uses Sense Motive to detect lies from a ...
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1answer
337 views

Dreyfus model of skill acquisition for skill advencements

Does anyone know of either any systems or have house rules that model skill advancement via the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition?
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1answer
659 views

Do ranks gained in a class count for purposes of enabling class skill bonus in another class?

In Pathfinder class skills get a +3 bonus, as long as the character has one rank in a skill. Can this effect be activated by taking a rank in a skill while leveling up another class? For example, a ...
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6answers
530 views

How to use social skills versus player characters

If the game system in use supports a mechanical modelling of social knack (like D&D's Bluff, Intimidate and Diplomacy skills), and the player who is subject of the social attack doesn't play his ...
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7answers
711 views

Anyone have write-ups (or alternatives) for “missing” skills in D&D 4E?

I decided that my urban campaign setting for 4E would be better off if characters had some "mundane skills and knowledge." One solution is adding the Knowledge, Craft, and Profession skills back in ...
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2answers
4k views

How can I Intimidate (demoralize foe) as a Move or Swift action?

I would like to make Intimidate a major part of my PC's fighting style. I think it's cool, and themey; I don't like the fact that it takes a Standard action, though. Is there any way to speed it up a ...
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3answers
191 views

Is it possible to get more successes than you have dice in your pool in Ubiquity?

With reference to this question and this answer, I wonder if ubiquity has a rolling up mechanic, to allow the slight possibility of exceptional successes. So, Is it possible in Ubiquity to get more ...
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2answers
145 views

Systems that use ability tests with a descriptive result applied by GM interpretation?

Thinking about a number of questions on here that have been to do with ability test modeling, I was thinking that there would be a lot of potential in a system that, rather than operating on a ...
9
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1answer
783 views

When are characters restricted from using Untrained Skills in 4e?

There is a large volume of information on using skills in 4e D&D. The basic assumption is that the character using the skill is trained and the rules reflect this. My question is, what about ...
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8answers
472 views

What non-RPG hobbies are complementary to the RPG addiction?

We want to recruit players for our regular table-top group, and have been debating where to look, to find non-players who would most likely be interested in playing and enjoy the experience. Going ...
11
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2answers
578 views

What rules govern group skill checks?

A number of published adventures mention rolling a "group stealth check" and other group checks where, theoretically, a proportion of the players try to beat the DC. Are there formal rules for this, ...
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5answers
423 views

Does the DM tell the players when a skill check can be used in a conversation?

Often times in adventures the players can make a skill check during conversation to learn some important information. Does the DM tell the players or otherwise give them a hint that a particular ...
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2answers
2k views

How can you create a well-rounded four character party that is trained in most skills?

Any D&D 4th Ed. player knows that a well-rounded party needs a controller, a striker, a defender, and a leader. Most often, I think a character's function and contribution to the party is ...
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1answer
228 views

Do check bonuses apply to passive checks?

The Warlord Class Feature Canny Leader grants a "+2 bonus to Insight checks and Perception checks" to you and allies within 10 squares. Does this also apply to checks against Passive Perception and ...
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2answers
3k views

How does a DM define a Skill Check value?

When a DM says make a skill check, how do they decide what value they need to beat?
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1answer
4k views

What is the DC for Crafting an arrow?

In 3.5e D&D, what is the DC for Crafting an arrow or quiver of arrows? The table on p71 of the PHB gives DCs of 5, 10, 15 and 20 for a Very Simple, Typical, High Quality and Complex/Superior Item, ...
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3answers
206 views

How to represent Tradecraft in GUMSHOE?

How can you represent good tradecraft in GUMSHOE-based games, such as Esoterrorists? That is, the techniques used in espionage, the topics or techniques (dead drops, for example).
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1answer
166 views

What Investigative Skills for Trail of Cthulhu at time of Sun King?

For a Trail of Cthulhu scenario set during the reign of the Sun King in France (1643 to 1715) what Investigative skills would I keep, remove and add?
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6answers
487 views

Are there any systems featuring skill atrophy?

I was thinking the other day about skill atrophy - the opposite of advancement. What I mean precisely is a system that takes a use-it-or-lose-it approach to even maintaining skill proficiency. I was ...
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2answers
2k views

Putting more focus on knowledge skills

Knowledge skills are the cinderella of the skill set. Nobody really puts grades in Knowledge (local), Knowledge (Nature) or Knowledge (Royalty). If you have a bard in the group, all these knowledge ...