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Bardarok wrote:I don't think it would break anything to allow this houserule, but it would lead to some of the situations that many on this thread find particularly troublesome, where the 20th level barbarian with 10 Int can use +18 - 10 = +8 Arcana to outperform the 1st-level 18 Int trained in Arcana wizard (1 + 4 = +5 Arcana) on some kind of trained-only test of obscure arcane theorems. That's something we've included safeguards to avoid, but it won't break anything if you do as you suggested, since it's not like the plot of a 20th level adventure is going to be likely to hinge on a standardized test duel between your 20th level barbarian and a 1st level wizard.
I don't like the concept of being unable to make an attempt at something even if the odds are terrible. Would it be unbalanced to apply a penalty for lacking sufficient training?
Maybe -10 per level of training you are behind so an untrained character can attempt a trained only task but takes a -10 penalty or an expert only task at -20 etc. the odds of critical failure would probably be enough to prevent most people from trying it but it means you can still make an attempt.
I know you don't want to have the Barbarian out "nerd" the wizard but by the time they reach that high level, shouldn't it make sense that they would have some Arcana prowess that they have experienced? They could have learned somethings through osmosis through proximity of partner members or the challenges they have faced in the past. If I had a Bard teammate that played his annoying flute every spare minute, I might have picked up at least some musical inclination from it. Or another party member speaks in another language often enough that I might pick it up.
Which leads me to another point, what happend to Linguistics? I use to love leveling that skill.
"You come upon a sign with strange writing on it. It's strange scripture leave you befuddled."
"WAIT, is it one of these languages?" *Start listing the 15+ languages you know*
"Sigh...its X language"
This might have been asked before but how is the balance between spells that just beat out skills?
i.e. I know 10+ languages vs Comprehend Language, I can climb good vs Spider Climb, I have a good intuition on lieing vs zone of truth? ETC