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

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33
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3answers
1k views

Why is Survival not a class skill for animals?

Question in title. Seems odd that an animal isn't naturally inclined to get bonuses to Survival, which typically involves dealing with the wilds and it's associated difficulties (an animal's natural ...
25
votes
6answers
3k views

How to improve the Diplomacy skill mechanic in D&D 3.Xe and Pathfinder?

In D&D 3rd Edition, 3.5 Edition, and even Pathfinder, it is ridiculously easy as a player to purposely or inadvertently break the skill system, especially with Diplomacy. For example: A level 5 ...
23
votes
10answers
542 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 ...
23
votes
11answers
817 views

Dealing with skill rerolls by several players

I could use some advice as a GM on how to handle rolls which get repeated by several players one after the other. Example 1 The PCs stand in front of a locked door and try to force it open. The ...
22
votes
5answers
536 views

Preventing character skill from impeding player enjoyment

Let's consider a player, whom we shall call Bob. Bob loves exciting gunfights and is a big John Woo fan. So he makes up "Shooty McShootenstein," who is a master with a gun. One thing that Bob is not ...
22
votes
6answers
917 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
1k views

Does 5th edition have the equivalent of Taking 20?

In 3rd edition D&D there was the option to Take 10 or Take 20 on a skill check. Does an equivalent rule exist in 5th edition? If the answer is no, have you tried houseruling it in, and what ...
19
votes
3answers
632 views

Can a sleeping character Hide?

Hiding requires an opposed roll. Can a sleeping character hide at all? If they do so, do they roll Hide when they go to sleep (for hiding their sleeping spot, etc.), or do they make an opposed roll ...
17
votes
9answers
604 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
13k views

Build Advice For Pathfinder Oracle

I've made an Oracle, 1st level, Mystery of Lore, Haunted Curse, and I took Sidestep Secret as my first revelation. I'm trying to decide if I should focus on melee combat and take relevant feats for ...
14
votes
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 ...
14
votes
8answers
399 views

Should Merits be given as rewards when the accomplishments match?

As a storyteller, are merits acquired only through experience after character creation, or do you reward your players with them for accomplishing their goals? Suppose a situation like the following ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

How many doses of poison does the Craft (alchemy) skill check produce if completed?

I can find no reference in published Pathfinder material to how many doses a completed Craft (alchemy) skill would yield as a result. It seems to me that only 1 dose would be of very limited use ...
13
votes
8answers
3k views

How do I deal with players that pick very situational skills for a Campaign?

Well, luckily I don't have Power Gamers, in my game table, they all like to tailor skills according to the character background; however in many situation this makes them pick skills that are rarely ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a PC use his Charisma to influence other PCs in D&D 3.5?

Checking the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook rules, the rules are explicit that the Diplomacy skill cannot be used to influence other PCs, only NPCs. But I see no such restrictions for Intimidate or ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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.
12
votes
7answers
1k views

Alternatives to Pass-Fail skill challenges in D&D 4e

Non-Combat encounters should be fun, not frustrating! I'm a veteran (AD&D) DM running D&D 4e, and my first-time players really enjoy the game I'm running for them. Though, the skill-challenge ...
12
votes
7answers
804 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
391 views

Inhuman Strength vs. +5 Might

I have been reading Your Story and Our World, trying to figure certain things out. One of the things I am stumped over is how stats work in this system. I am not sure if this is intentional or not, ...
12
votes
6answers
605 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
424 views

In FATE, what is the relative value of each characteristic?

There are a lot of FATE variants out there, but most have a few common types of characteristics in common: a number of aspects, a base number of fate points (refresh), skills/abilities, stunts, and ...
12
votes
2answers
570 views

Replacing skills with approaches and vice versa

One of the most noticeable differences between Fate Core and FAE is that FAE replaces skills with approaches. This is really great for forcing characterization and getting games running quickly, but ...
12
votes
1answer
726 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
289 views

Are there maneuver options for non-combat skills?

My GURPS GM complains that the PCs put a point or two in most skills, except for combat skills which get 10-20% of our character points. Aside from the fact that he asks us to make more combat checks ...
11
votes
6answers
719 views

Aced d4s vs skill development in Savage Worlds

Is there errata covering aced rolls when skills are at low levels vs higher? I've heard of players staying at rudimentary skill in order to reward themselves with aced rolls more frequently than ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Why take Linguistics if you can cast Comprehend Languages?

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 ...
11
votes
10answers
631 views

System recommendation: Dynamic, engaging, and realistic skill rolls

Our group has been taking issue with traditional systems for rolling and resolving skill checks/skill encounters, and we were wondering if there are more dynamic and realistic options out there. Most ...
11
votes
5answers
724 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
397 views

Is there, in D&D 3.5, a standard/canonical ruling for skill in astronomy/knowledge(astronomy)?

Question see title; further explanation: what I mean is especially in relation to identifying time (of month, year) and location/heading based on the location of celestial objects and, say, a standard ...
11
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
650 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, ...
11
votes
2answers
372 views

Is this how to hide?

I know that Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 is a pretty lousy stealth simulator--which is probably why I've not seen a lot of folks try to play characters that hide--, but I want to clarify the hiding rules ...
11
votes
1answer
417 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
319 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How can you gain proficiency in a skill after level 1?

I have been reading the Basic Rules a couple times, but could not find any way to gain proficiency in skills past level 1. For example, if I create a Rogue, I may chose 4 skills among 11: ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Question regarding spellcraft: Learn a spell

Browsing the PHB, I noticed the 3rd entry of the spellcraft skill's usages: 15 + spell level: Learn a spell from a spellbook or scroll (wizard only). No retry for that spell until you gain at ...
10
votes
2answers
525 views

Bardic Music with visual or silent performance types

Bardic Music states two conflicting things. I want to know what you guys think should be the ruling, because I'm seriously trying to convince my DM that this should work. Bardic Music can use ANY ...
10
votes
1answer
207 views

Truenamer's Knowledge Focus

I've had a little of a dispute with a player regarding Truenamer, his Knowledge Focus class feature and whenever it applies as prereq to, let's say, gaining a prestige class. The class feature is: ...
10
votes
3answers
616 views

What is the correct way to calculate the Knowledge DC to identify a creature?

Something that has always confused me about the Knowledge skill in D&D 3.5 is that identifying a monster with advancement is more difficult only because the HD increase. The DC of the knowledge ...
10
votes
1answer
227 views

In the skill list, when do ability modifiers apply?

In D&D 3.5e, do ability modifiers apply to all skills, or do they only apply to skills that you've spent skill points putting ranks into? The way the rulebook explains it is a bit confusing.
10
votes
2answers
974 views

What is/are the basic mathematical models for skill-check based systems?

It seems that there is some model-agnostic thinking around skill-check based systems, and I'm interested in finding out what designers use to model them. Ignoring the dice for a moment, and stating ...
10
votes
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?
10
votes
2answers
159 views

Infiltration trapping in Burglary

I am translating certain portions of the rules of The Dresden Files RPG to my native language (because there is no official translation), and I fail to understand what exactly the Infiltration ...
10
votes
1answer
153 views

First Aid (Grant 2nd Wind) question

Quick question about first aid (grant 2nd wind). The rules say that the target can use 2nd wind without using an action, so does this mean I could use this to heal a dying character as long as they ...
9
votes
8answers
719 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
203 views

Where are a monster's skills?

If you grab a goblin for example, and the goblin test to escape it says to have it make an acrobatics or athletics check but I can't seem to find where it says there skills? Any help?
9
votes
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 ...