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25

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 ...


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 ...


14

Stunts I would argue that this falls perfectly under the application of stunts - using one skill in place of another. From Your Story p.147: The first possible use for a stunt is to broaden a skill by giving it a new trapping. Often this is a trapping that’s “transplanted” from one skill to another. Sometimes this trapping may need to be modified, or ...


13

There are a few classes you can multiclass into to gain skills, such as Bard, Ranger or Rogue. In addition to that, in the player's handbook there is a feat called "Skilled" which allows you to gain proficiency in any combination of 3 skills or tools. There is also a bard ability in the college of lore that allows you to learn 3 more skills at level 3. ...


11

Don't You use the guns skill to use guns, its just that simple. Sounds like your friend/player is trying to get you to houserule something to make his character more powerful. Even using an aspect to do this would be too powerful and potentially game breaking. Discipline the skill does not mean trigger-discipline. Its a representation of your character's ...


10

Try Fate Core. Fate (Core and Accelerated) is available for free download here and are online here. It's a setting-agnostic engine (invent your own setting in collaboration with the group), which uses a small set of skill-based options to resolve nearly every action. Swingy: No. Fate uses Fudge dice which provide a strong bell curve between -4 and +4, with ...


8

Multi-classing As GMNoob stated, the only classes that currently get a skill proficiency is a Bard, Ranger, or Rogue. Feat A very powerful feat, in my opinion, is Skilled. 3 skills for the cost of 2 ability points is a very fair trade when you consider attribute caps and the bonus you get out of 3 skills. Race A couple of races get a free skill in some ...


8

The skill Spot has epic uses and is useful to all but blind adventurers. It's one of those skills that if a character can he should put maximum ranks in it. But, even if he does, it's a good idea to have the skill even higher. I've drawn from a variety of sources in this list; abbreviations are available here. Improving Spot Skill Checks with Spells The ...


8

In my experience, the best way to find uses for obscure skills is to let the players come up with them, and just go along with their suggestions if they're halfway plausible. If your players are creative enough, as yours seem to be, they will come up with ways to use their oddball skills if you let them. To make this work best, you'll need to let your ...


7

The Magic Item Compendium has a few. Some examples: Third Eye Aware (p. 140). Probably the item you're looking for if all you want is pure spotting. +10 competence bonus, nothing else. 10000gp. A Raptor's Mask (p. 210) is a decent face slot item. +5 untyped bonus on spot checks. "Also" renders the character immune to blindness and dazzling. 3500gp. Eyes of ...


5

It barely matters. Concentration is mandatory, spellcraft and knowledge (arcana) are expected and useful. The other “big six” knowledges (dungeoneering, local, nature, religion, the planes – the ones that can identify creatures and their weaknesses) are always nice, and they’re in-class so why not? Beyond that, it doesn’t ...


5

It's almost certainly going to be Wis and Int Checks. The question is which skill proficiencies will apply to those checks depending on what their origin is. This is generally the Purview of the Monster Manual and DMG, however, Mearls has said that more of Basic D&D is will be released this coming week. We should know a lot more when Basic D&D ...


4

What's wrong with just letting them use the skill? Even if it just happens once or twice in the entire session, give them an opportunity to have their skill become useful. Often, allowing a story to go in this direction becomes a memorable experience for the player. For example, one of the characters has a "Boating" skill. Perhaps the players could normally ...


4

I believe that if you have a definite plan for a genre/setting for your campaign, you and your players have to work together to make it work. This includes character creation. It's going to be tough to fit a pacifist, privately educated art historian into a campaign based around the mob and violent crime. The first thing I do with any campaign is to present ...


4

Check the Ioun Stone page: Ioun Stone Dark Blue one will give you alertness (+2 on Listen and Spot) Incandescent blue will give you a bonus to all Wisdom checks.


3

Custom Magic Item to enhance Spot cost bonus x bonus x 100 GP source


3

I don't know why no-one has mentioned "Eyes of the Eagle." They're on page 256 of the Dungeon Master's Guide, and offer a +5 competence bonus on Spot checks for only 2,500 gp.


3

While it had a whole host of other problems, I found QED's Marvel Universe RPG to have an excellent skill resolution mechanic that didn't use dice at all. Characters had an energy pool, and all tasks had a Difficulty and a Resistance. If your relevant Action numbers were high enough to overcome the Difficulty, you could attempt the task. You'd attempt the ...


3

Some Common Home-Brew Solutions These are just solutions I've seen people implement before. Almost all of them require some statistics and some common sense. They're not foolproof, either. Rolling Different Combinations of Dice Instead of 1d20 This is among the most common homebrew fixes to this problem. It is good, because you're on a curve, and bonuses ...


3

Here are two systems I have used. I'm not sure either solves all your problems but they might offer some interesting food for thought. Das Schwarze Auge DSA (The Dark Eye) is a German system that tends towards the simulationist end of the spectrum. Every character has eight basic stats and 30+ talents (different styles of weapons, knowledge, crafting, ...


3

This is what spells are for! One of the fundamental purposes of spells in DFRPG is to let you use your casting skills in place of any other more mundane skill, at the cost of time and stress. So while a mortal detective can only investigate a crime scene effectively if he's got ranks in the right skills, a wizard can investigate that crime scene just as ...


2

There is only one circumstance I can see Discipline being used to help with a firearm, and that's by using the Combining Skills rule from YS127. This implies that the character is distracted or otherwise in a situation where his focus might wander. While I did look at the Temporary Aspects for things like Lying in Wait or Across my Sights where a character ...


2

Student of Philosophy uses the 'in place of' wording, which means that for all effects related to it (including which ability score it is based from), you use Intelligence. Ergo, Family Ties would not apply to it, as Family Ties applies only to charisma or wisdom based checks and Diplomacy is now based on Intelligence. While a negative Wisdom modifier ...


2

DISCLAIMER: In a way, mine is not a direct answer to your question, because it's not a game recommendation. However commenting policy in this SE is strict, so I have no option but to put forward my opinion like this. Let's get to it then. What I meant to suggest is: how about changing GMing style? First RPG I played was DnD, and I hated it because the GM ...


2

The problem you're pointing out is that randomization (the die roll) overshadows the difference in ability (stats, skills, etc.). A lot of this is carryover from very old expectations ("well, a 10% difference will show when we have 100 units vs. 100 units") which doesn't apply so well when you have single characters in action. The Shadow of Yesterday TSOY ...


2

Generally, when I player picks a skill that is to help flesh out his background, he doesn't expect it to come up very often (if ever). You could treat knowledge skills as passive in the sense that the character knows a little more than the others at appropriate times. Telling them that they know something interesting or relevant when describing a scene ...


1

One possibility is to handle those "background.skills" a little broader. This depends hugely on the specific system involved, but if it's open to interpretation reflect on what those skills could represent. For example Basket-weaving. a Basket weaver needs patience, concentration and has a firm grasp on complex "structures". So give him a bonus when solving ...


1

I wonder if "Dynamic," "Engaging," and "Realistic" are all possible on one system. Here is one I have used a lot, which I think definitely hits on the first two and more important aspects. "Dogs in the Vineyard" is an indie game with a thematic conflict resolution system using a series of Raises and Sees. Players have Attributes, Traits (which are skills ...


1

Dice Pool Systems like Shadowrun and The Void One thing I'd suggest is considering a system like Shadowrun or The Void (which is free and practically identical to Shadowrun mechanically), because they both have a system based on giving a number of dice based on skills and attributes, and then using each of those individual dice's results to count toward a ...


1

There's already a mechanic for that: Maneuver. If your player wants to spend an action steadying his breathing and lining up his shot to add an aspect like 'Zeroed In' that he could then tag, discipline would be a reasonable skill to roll.



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