Friday, November 16, 2007

About the poll question

Basically, every time I came across an NPC who I wanted to have a certain skill, but wasn't a class skill, and I took the Cross Training feat, I asked myself, "do we need class skills"?

So now I'm asking what you guys think, and I'm going to leave this poll open for longer than the last one, just to get a sense of where folks stand.

8 comments:

SirKerry said...

I view the class skills like you did out of combat skill checks - it's just something that gets in the way (not of the game, but of having cool characters).

Charles said...

Heya SirKerry, thanks for the kind words you had for Modern20 in the RPGnet thread!

I challenged a lot of assumptions when I designed Modern20, including class skills.

Ultimately, I decided they'd make the classes a little more different, something I liked.

But everytime I've done an NPC for Modern20 where I wanted to take the CrossTraining feat, I always end up asking myself "why do I need to do this, this sucks".

Larry Clapp said...

I thought about sending this as personal email -- didn't want to embarrass myself in public -- but then I figured, why stop now?

Anyway -- If you view a class as a particular mind set more than a particular skill set, then perhaps a separate Feat to cross-train makes sense. For example, you might call me a Computer Geek. We geeks tend to be a blunt lot. If I wanted to learn Diplopmacy, you could argue that it not only costs me whatever it normally costs to learn a new skill, but also it costs extra just to get my head into a place where I can even begin to learn the new skill.

On the other hand I haven't played D&D regularly since you lived down here, much less played M20, so what do I know? :)

SirKerry said...

Charles, no problem. M20 is a really cool system. The main thing that sucks about non-class skills is that you have to burn a feat to get one. Instead of that howabout just making non-class skills cost double skill points (i.e. every 4 ranks you put in only gets you 2 ranks)? This removes a major part of the suckage but still gives a penalty for non-class skills and keeps the classes still somewhat different.

Charles said...

To Larry: Not embarrassing! I think the scnario you posit is reasonable, the counter to that is this is a player choice.

For example, assume I make all tech-heads Diplomacy-deficient, and a character comes along who wants to be a tech AND a master negotiator, someone like Mark Cuban.

The system handles that now, with the feat, but I just found myself, when writing up characters for MA20 asking myself "do I really need to do this" and I'm not sure I do.

To Kerry: Yeah, I agree burning a feat sucks. When we designed the system, we just used test characters that didn't really have personalities.

Now they we're dealing with personalities (my players and designing specific NPCs with personalities) I keep running into situations where I want a character to have a certain skill.

the other charles said...

I hate the class/cross-class distinction, but I really like the idea of certain classes & occupations favoring certain skills over others. I have yet to find a variant rule that satisfies me. I am currently working with a house rule where class skills receive a reduction to certain penalties that would otherwise be imposed on certain skill uses. However, I am still not happy with the rule and may ditch it.

I am concerned about how meaningful occupation choice will be if class skills are removed.

Charles said...

I've given this some thought (how removing class skills would effect occupations).

I think between the Improved Feats, and the fact that the Occupational Skills would still determine the Wealth bonus of an occupation, that the system would survive the removal of class skills completely intact.

SirKerry said...

Charles - instead of removing class skills completely, howabout something like a cap on the number of ranks you can have on non-class skills? That would tend to focus the character's skills towards class/occuption but still allow them to get some ranks in non-class skills without burning a feat to do so (or maybe keep the feat and use it allow you to bypass the non-class skill cap limit for a skill?).

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