Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dull Reading

Finished the next chapter of the 4E Essentials Rules Compendium, the one on Skills. 


But anyway, it's out of the way.  4E, like most successors to 3E, has pared down the number of skills, combining similar ones into one bigger skill.  So "Athletics" covers running, jumping, swimming, climbing, and the like.  "Thievery" covers most of your typical Thieves' Tools operations (find and remove traps, open locks) with Pick Pockets.  3E's Knowledge skills are for the most part now subskills of other areas.  "Nature" covers survival and Knowledge: Nature, and IIRC Handle Animal. 

So they've made improvements on the skill set, and the system.  Automatic level bonus (1/2 level, round down) to all skills, and training gets you a +5 bonus to that skill.  Much easier than trying to assign skill points.  I'm sure this is a big benefit when designing NPCs.  Skills were one of the worst things about NPC/monster design in 3E.

Still, it was pretty dry reading.  Glad it's over with.  And if we have another skill challenge in Enzo's game tomorrow, I'll have a much better idea of what that entails.


  1. One thing I've always liked about D&D4 is the skill system, and I approve of the efficiency of the level-based bonuses to skills. It's just the rest of the system that did my head in.

  2. Kelvin - the skill system is much improved, except for the moving goal posts issue. What's the point of increasing level bonuses on skills, if most DCs also increase with your level? Seriously, reading through the skill descriptions, a good 80% or more had DC keyed to level. And they keep the silliness of monster knowledge being tied to monster 'level' so low level characters know nothing about dragons or vampires, but have a good chance to know something about a super rare low level creature. So it's not perfect.

    Whisk - read chapter 2 of The Hobbit out loud to my son this morning. That made up for the boring reading yesterday.

  3. Ah yes, I'd forgotten about the scaling. Yes, that is a problem. When we were playing D&D4, we played a one-shot at 11th level, just to see what it was like. It was the same as 1st level, which didn't help to endear the game to us.