World of Esaene (ENWorld)

Thursday, February 15, 2007


The mechanic I devised to keep the class and cross-class distinction without complicating issues with 1/2 skill points is listed below. Instead of spending class skill points per level, you choose a number of skills (from the normal list of class skills, referred to as the class skill list) to be "class skills" from your class skill list, gaining 1 rank per level (2 at 1st level) automatically. You then may spend free skill points (1+intelligence bonus, doubled at 1st level) every level from a restricted list.

Class skills and free skills
In any class, a number of class skills are selected from a class skill list. These skills are that character’s class skills. First level characters automatically have 2 ranks in all class skills. Class skills gain an additional rank each class level.

Characters also receive a number of free skills per level, equal to 1 + their intelligence bonus, minimum 1. At first level, this number is doubled. Free skill points can be used on the following skills: · Any untrained skill · Any skill in their class list · Any trained skill in which they have 5 or more ranks.

Some skills, such as Craft or Disable Device, are considered trained skills. This means a character can only spend free skill points on them if they are in that character’s class list. Furthermore, all trained skills have a +10 penalty to DC. Each rank of a trained skill reduces this penalty by 2, so having 5 ranks of a trained skill will have no penalty at all.

The following skills are considered "trained" in this system: Appraise, Craft, Decipher Script, Disable Device, Handle Animal, Knowledge, Perform, Profession, Sleight of Hand, Speak Language*, Spellcraft, Tumble, Use Magic Device**

* I have my own rules for Speak Language that is off-topic for this mechanic.
** I don't use this skill in my game, but it would be considered trained nonetheless.

Working things out

I've updated the skills, which I'll get updated on the group soon. Other than that, I've been going the public route and trying to get some rules and permutations worked out within the gaming community, most notably ENWorld. Here is a link to the latest thread and what I'm trying to get sorted out.

I'll add some more threads and try to get other things worked out as I see fit.

Friday, February 02, 2007

New update: Skills

In the first time in over a month, I was able to get some work done. I went through the skills and simplified them, basically restarting with the base set of D&D 3.5 skills, removing a few things I didn't like, and rewriting the skill allocation to fit a more simplistic style.

The main difference is that each class selects a number of skills from their skill list as "class skills". For example:

The fighter’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Since Fighters get 2 skills per level (not including intelligence), a player chooses two skills from the fighter skill list as class skills. A horseman would probably take Ride and Handle Animal.

At first level, these two skills are rank 2. Each additional fighter level increases these two skills by 1 rank. A 4th level fighter with Ride and Handle Animal as class skills would have Ride 5 and Handle Animal 5.

Characters also get a number of free skills per level equal to 1+ their intelligence bonus. The free skill points can be spent on any skill from your skill list or any untrained skill. So, the same fighter could spend free skill points on Climb (untrained) and Craft (trained, but in the skill list), but not Disable Device (trained, not in the skill list).

Characters can still used skills they are not trained in, but trained skills carry a DC penalty until you have 5 ranks in them. This is to represent how difficult they are, but also to keep from grabbing a single level of another class, buying a rank of some cross-class skill, and then using it without penalty from that time forward.