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Skill System vs. Level System


D&D or Wod Game Mechanics  

143 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you prefer a Skill System (point buy) or a Level System?

    • Skill - I get rewarded with points I can spend on any skill like Wod. I would have one pool for combat skills and one for noncombat
      66
    • Level - Like D&D you have fixed paths you follow, and as you gain XP you level up.
      23
    • Hybrid - Combat skills level up like D&D, but you have a Wod like point by system for all non-combat skills
      45
    • Other - Please provide how the mechanics would work
      9


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Curious how the idea of 2 XP pools would work. Ok in principle but neither should be "grindable".

Also, IMO combat and noncombat activities should not be mutually exclusive events. I'd like to get both while out adventuring or in town.

 

I am very curious about this as well after Update #7 by Tim Cain.

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skill system all the way

i really like how it works in WoD - but i think you should not get xp to spend on points, but rather increase your skills if you do certain things in game

e.g. talking out of a situation = get skill increase in talking

killing a enemy with a sword = get sword increase, not on every enemy but on certain points in the game

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If when you get an increase you get the same amount of points to all pool, then it would work fine.

The concern perhaps is with people who have a very rigid way of thinking would argue that you shouldn't get points to all pools when the things you did prior to getting the points revolved mostly around a single gameplay aspect.

 

It would the perhaps be easer to use "levels" or a "level-like" system. In which your xp goes to a bar, and when it fills up you get a set number of points in all your aspects.

 

The free-form "skill-based"-system could divide a character's abilities into different aspects, not just Two; combat and non-combat.

Some aspects could be simply numerical values you increase, some could be general abilities to select and some could even be a form of ability-tree. A "Background"-aspect would certainly have a part during CharGen.

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Actually in Pathfinder 1 point in a skill does equal 1 point in that skill for all classes. Pathfinder doesn't have D&D 3E's penalty for cross-class skills.

 

My bad. Was thinking of ToEE which uses 3.5 methinks.

 

 

 

I'll give you an example of problematic builds.

In a recent Pathfinder session I wanted to create a specific character - an orphan who fell int othe wrong crowd early on. Componded with the poverty that struck his village he started to ssteal. One very unfortunate incident led to the death of his friend and him being accused of it, promting him to flee the village. He survived by latching onto a group of forest bandits, basicly being their little servant and even engaging in robberies with them. Untill the entire band was destroyed ina raid, with only him fleeing and resuming banditry alone. Up untill he tried to rob the wrong person, a renowned swordsman who beat the living snot out of him, but didnt' kill him. Insted he showed mercy and brought him to the paladin order, where he was trained and set forth into a new light.

 

Now you see the problem

- the character neded to have some basic bluffing, survival and street skills - all of which are not class skills for paladins. Even with inital trais carefully selected, I'd have to waste enourmeus amount of feats just to make this character work. Made even worse by a paladins low number of skill points.

 

That one would be more problematic. I wouldn't say it would require an enormous amount of feats (probably two feats + your two traits, depending on your race and religion), but it would definitely take a big bite out of your key abilities. So, yeah, I agree that Pathfinder would make it hard to play a character like that. I had a similar problem creating my current Pathfinder character, a half-orc fighter who, due to her upbringing (which I won't get into here since it's pretty complex), is a classically trained singer and is well educated in the academic fields. I eventually just paid the feats to make her the way I wanted, and figured her combat abilities will catch up as I level up.

 

Pathfinder is actually better at this than previous D&D.

Thank heavens.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

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Actually I wasn't that fond of the D&D system. Never did really understand the 3.5 ed either. With that system I felt I needed a course in it to be able to do it right.

 

I like the system the Devs are proposing. combat and non-combat separated. You gain XP for accomplishing something.

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I prefer a learn-by-doing system, as was seen in Wasteland (much better implemented than in The Elder Scrolls). Wasteland was released in 1988, so the actual system isn't a Bethesda invention, like some people here seem to suggest.

 

And I love that you call it grinding.. You know how a basketball player becomes good at hitting a three-pointer? He keeps throwing them during practice. Over and over and over. It's called practising.

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Yeah, grinding the same button over and over again is about as entertaining as watching paint dry.

 

I want progress in the story and entertainment, not spending two real-life hours hiding from sleeping hobos until my skill is high enough to advance the story.

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I always thought that Quest 64 had an inventive spell system. Very lite on the RPG features but the spell system was fun to play around with.

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Yeah, grinding the same button over and over again is about as entertaining as watching paint dry.

 

I want progress in the story and entertainment, not spending two real-life hours hiding from sleeping hobos until my skill is high enough to advance the story.

 

If you don't want to practice your sneaking skill (and sleeping hobos are not good for that practice really) why dont' you advance the story in anotehr way?

Who sez you have to sneak past the guard? Bribe him. Kill him. Trick him. Taunt him.

 

That said, legitimate skill use restruction gets rid of that. Skill doesn't increase unless you're training properly (hiding from enemies in this example)

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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Its a technique that puts a statement to the extreme edge in order to shed light on a valid point. Clearly the sarcasm was lost on you.

 

The point is that a "get-better-by-doing"-system is always flawed by design. Mostly because they are made with a half-assed effort. They will always lead to grinding and exploitation, neither of which are any fun. We end up with arbitrary and repetitive points of increase opportunities. The opportunities to increase will not be evenly spread out. Sometimes chances will be random, sometimes hardcoded for a set event. Some skills will be easy to find opportunities for and can be repeated for increased effect, while other skills will be frustratingly rare and unrepeateble.

 

The man-hours, coordination and discipline required to make such a system on a large scale in a game with hours of gameplay; will ultimately be an immense waste of resources when the alternative is simply more fun!

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And I love that you call it grinding.. You know how a basketball player becomes good at hitting a three-pointer? He keeps throwing them during practice. Over and over and over. It's called practising.

And that makes for a horribly boring game, which is why no one makes NBA Simulator. I don't want to practice in my games. Realism does not equal fun.

 

Learn-by-doing systems breakdown because they're 1) open for exploitation, 2) limiting.

 

1) Explotation - I get XP for sneaking, so I sneak all the time and get XP all the time.

Ok, so now you only get XP for sneaking past someone. So I sneak past townspeople.

Ok, so now you get XP for sneaking past something hostile. So I sneak past the same thing back and forth.

Ok, so now you get XP only the first time you sneak past something hostile. So now we have our realistic system where you learn by doing, except you can only learn if you're in danger, and you can't learn from sneaking past the same troll twice, you have to find a different troll. And since I learn every time I stab, I learn more by using a dull practice dagger than a sharp dagger. If I switch to stabbing with a wooden spoon, I learn even faster.

 

2) Limiting - If I sneak past the enemy, then I don't get a chance to talk and level up my speech, or practice my stabbing. So I limit my options based on what I want to level up. I know, I sneak past everything, then go back and talk to everything, then go back and slaughter everything, and get three times as much XP as just doing the one. Hurrah!

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