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52

They don't actually need it. I realize this is radical, but bear with me. We need to not expect them to be masters of wilderness survival --in all honesty, they aren't. Animals die in the wild all the time. They starve, they freeze, they get lost, they fall in caves and can't get out. That said, they're actually not awful at Survival and the way they're ...


29

Give bonus skill points for a good backstory! If someone writes up a good backstory, and the character should logically have certain skills from that backstory, that aren’t actually useful (or, at least, unlikely to be useful) in the campaign, turn those skills into rewards for writing a good backstory. That’s a great story of how a former ...


26

Your total bonus column is your total bonus column, and it's comprised of your Ranks, your Ability Modifier, and any other modifiers you might have. So your first option is the right one - Ranks describes the number of skill points you explicitly put into that skill. Anything else is your "total skill modifier", not the number of Ranks.


26

I'm often unable to find where my cat is sleeping, so I'd say yes, sleeping characters can still be hidden. I'd say have the character make a single hide check when they go to sleep to establish a DC (you should probably throw in a negative circumstance modifier since they won't be able to adapt to circumstances like an active, conscious hider would). ...


24

10 yes (sort of), 20 no. Taking 20 was not a thing in 4th edition, and is similarly absent from 5th. Taking 10 however is sort of a thing in 5th, but it's not implemented the way you might think it should be. Basically, the way "taking 10" works in 5e is that every ability (And by extension, skill), has a "passive" score (Basic Rules v2 page 59). This is ...


23

Do they actually need to roll? No, seriously, why are they rolling dice to do this?... You can have automatic successes if the character's skill is high enough. This would solve the vast majority of the problems you seem to have. Second, some things will not be possible unless you have a high skill enough. I might know kung fu but that does not help me ...


22

First of all, it's a Knowledge check Don't lose sight of the fact that the player asked to make a Knowledge check because he or she wants information. There's no way around that. Don't worry about that information breaking the flow. If the player doesn't want to break the flow by getting that information, he or she would not be requesting the check. Tease ...


22

This exact setup happens all the time in movies, so let's examine how they handle it. If they are the only character, then as a GM, completely tune the story to them. They shouldn't have to do hacking, or at best they have to shoot their way in to where the Russian hacker who already knows stuff is. James Bond doesn't use keyboards. Avoid his minimums ...


22

A few games resolve this situation by dealing with it explicitly in the rules, and building the check system to accomodate how it handles this situation. The most notable one is Burning Wheel and its Let It Ride rule: The result of one test stands for the duration of the situation. When in a situation like this, the success or failure of the attempt ...


21

That's actually not even a house rule — it's by the book. See pages 179-180 of the Player's Handbook, which discuss monster knowledge checks. On page 180: Monster Knowledge: No action required — either you know the answer or you don't.


19

No, they do not. Skill ranks refer only to the number of well, ranks that you've put into the skill. I can't find an exact reference to back that up, but they make a big deal when referring to ranks vs bonuses: Each level, your character gains a number of skill ranks dependent upon your class plus your Intelligence modifier. Investing a rank in ...


18

In the case of your example, rolling a 1 or 20 doesn't mean any more than rolling a 2 or a 19 or a 3 or an 18. In 3.5 at least, there are no automatic successes or failures with skill checks. Regardless, in most rolls there is not an automatic success or failure. Sure, if they roll a 20 they're going to be confident that they have succeeded. But that's ...


18

[The following is based on my experiences in 3.5e, but from what I know about Pathfinder it should be trivially adapted. Also, I apologize in advance for what I'm certain will be a post filled with incorrect terminology -- I've been playing 4e for quite some time now, and it's been even longer since I last sat down with 3.5e.] If you think Diplomacy is ...


18

these class skill lists are redundant with the granted skills for several reasons. Hybrid characters. Instead of creating separate class skills lists for hybrids, they just use the same skill lists and then you just don't get the automatic training. Multiclass feats. Often these feats give you the opportunity train one skill off the class you're MCing ...


18

Allowing skill checks to use different ability scores for skill checks in unusual situations is already an official rules variant suggested on page 33 of the Dungeon Master's Guide. It's in the page footer, and in addition to some examples of using different ability scores with your skill ranks, has this to say: These sorts of unusual situations are ...


17

The original Runequest was a lot like that: the world was quite magical, and most PCs had some magic available to them. Experience worked just like you're thinking about. When you used a skill, you checked it off, and if you could roll higher than that skill during the downtime, it'd improve. It was thus easier to get better at a skill the worse you were at ...


17

So, here's my approach: A custom skill can be bought at the cost of any 2 other skills. This includes skills a character gets as part of his class. The custom skill must be some sort of role (sailor, soldier, blacksmith, whatever) but it must also have a setting specific context (i.e. a sailor must have sailed with a particular navy or merchant fleet or ...


17

This has come up in one of the campaign I currently run. Comprehend languages, like most spells, has a limited duration and is therefore only useful as long as: You don't encounter more than one piece of foreign-language text over the course of the day. The foreign-languages you do encounter can be completely interpreted before the duration runs out. Of ...


17

Know that Skill Challenges aren't "pass-fail" in the traditional sense One of the common mistakes about D&D 4e Skill Challenges (and arguably one perpetuated by many of the early printed materials) is that a skill challenge must be passed for the adventure to continue. Some early adventures included skill challenges and didn't even explain what happens ...


16

First things first: from what I can tell, that rule has never been errata'd, so we can go by what's in the Player's Handbook. I would say allow it at pretty much any time, but don't forget that you can add circumstantial bonuses and penalties (+2 or -2). If the enemy's side is clearly winning, the bloodied creature would be less likely to retreat. Many ...


16

Creatures' skills are listed at the bottom of their info sheet/card. Creature sheets have ability modifier + half level, which is what you should be using, already calculated at the bottom of the sheet. For example, a level 14 lich necromancer has the following ability stats at the bottom of his/her monster sheet: Skills: Arcana +18, History +18, Insight ...


16

On page 30 of the D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, the bard starting package lists: Knowledge (any one) | Rank 4 | Ability Int (my emphasis) Knowledge ("any" or "any one") is sometimes used as a shorthand for the ability to select any of the game's Knowledge skills (listed under the skills section in the book and -- if you're playing D&D 3.5 -- ...


16

Unlike Diplomacy, Intimidate and Bluff both have well-defined mechanical uses outside of open-ended persuasion. For instance, Bluff can be used as part of a Feint action in combat. If player-versus-player actions are allowed in game, then those uses of the skills are allowed by RAW. That is, in my opinion, why you do not see an explicit rule against the ...


16

Short Answer: No It definitely does not count as ranks; it is a bonus. It’s effectively equivalent to the Skill Focus feat (which also provides an untyped permanent bonus). It does stack with Skill Focus, though, since they are different (and also does not count as Skill Focus for requirements, though I recommend houseruling that one). Relevant ...


15

You are correct that class skills automatically get a +3 bonus when you put that first rank in it. However, non-class skills do not get that same bonus. To put it down as a formula... Class skill bonus = Attribute Modifier + Ranks (1/level max) + 3 (but only if 1 or more ranks are in it) Non-class skill bonus = Attribute Modifier + Ranks (1/level max) ...


15

Yes. Craft is actually a number of separate skills. So if you have the class bonus for craft you have it for all the skills in the craft "family".


15

Yes, there is a way. Ever-helpful d20SRD tells us that Charisma is the default attribute for Intimidate.


15

Aid Another is not broken... That perception check example you give, its supposed to work that way 100 percent. Conceivably the players could also just stand in a room and continue to roll perception checks until they get a number they like. If the situation has no inherent danger punishing a failed skill roll should have no consequences. A creature ...


15

The word include indicates a subset: every element that is included appears in the including set. So the statement about the cloistered cleric’s class skills is that the given list, “Decipher Script, Speak Language, and all Knowledge skills (from the Knowledge domain, see below),” is a subset of the full set cloistered cleric class skills. ...


15

A +29 on Intimidate is a very large bonus. Especially on a fighter, who has few skill points and little use for Charisma in most cases; almost all of that is probably from skill ranks, which implies a very high level character. Such a person should be trivially succeeding on attempts to demoralize most anything. Anything short of an actual god should be an ...



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