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House Rule: Abilities with skill ranks.


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


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I was working on a house rule where you gain abilites as your ranks in the skill increases. These abilites come at 6, 12 and 18 ranks. You only get these abilites if the skill is a class skill for your class. I tried to make is so the rank 6 ability is worth about a trait, the rank 12 ability is somewhere between a trait and a feat, and the rank 18 ability is worth about a feat.

If you don't mind, please let me know if any of the abilites are too strong or too weak.

Skill Abilities:

Acrobatics:
6 ranks: +2 to climb skill.
12 ranks: +2 to reflex save when you jump, but missed the DC by less than 5.
18 ranks: When you fall, you can ignore the first 15 feet with an acrobatics feat

Appraise:
6 ranks: You must fail the action by 10 or more to get a wildly inacurate result.
12 ranks: You can appraise as a move action, or a standard action if you are scanning a treasure horde.
18 ranks: If you succeed the check on a magic item by 10 or more, you know the magic properties of the item.

Bluff:
6 ranks: Delivering a secret message only takes 1.5 times as long as normal.
12 ranks: Circumstantial penalties are halved when you bluff.
18 ranks: When you feint, your opponent does not get their wisdom bonus on the sense motive check.

Climb:
6 ranks: Armor Check penalties are reduced by 1 when climbing
12 ranks: You gain a +5 to the check when attempting to catch yourself or another person when falling.
18 ranks: You may move at half speed when climbing.

Craft:
6 ranks: You gain +2 to diplomacy when dealing with people who have your craft subskill. The skill is +4 at 12 ranks and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: +10% to price for items you craft. This increases to +25% at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: When calcuating time per week, The DC is considered 10 higher.

Diplomacy:
6 ranks: If you fail the diplomacy check by 9 or less, the attitude is unchanged.
12 ranks: When you are gathering information, it takes half the time as normal.
18 ranks: You can shift a creature's attitude by up to 3 steps.

Disable Device:
6 ranks: You can disable a simple device or open a simple lock as a standard action.
12 ranks: If you do not have a set of thieves' tools but do have a knife or similar item, the DC is only increased by 5.
18 ranks: You can disarm magical traps as though you have trapfinding. If you already have trapfinding, You gain a +5 to disarming magical traps.

Disguise:
6 ranks: Choose either gender, race or age (1 step). When disguising yourself, you do not take a penalty when you choose to disguise yourself by your choice. You gain a second choice at 12 ranks, and all three at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: You gain +2 to your bluff skill when telling a lie. This increases to +4 at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: It only takes 1d6 minutes of work to create your disguise.

Escape Artist:
6 ranks: If the time to escape is a minute or greater, reduce the time by half. At rank 12, if it takes a full round, you can perform it as a standard action. At rank 18, if it takes a standard action, you can escape as a move action.
12 ranks: If the binding material is made of a pliable substance (ropes, nets, weeds, etc.) you gan a +5 bonus to the check.
18 ranks: You gain +5 to your escape artist attempt when escaping from grapples.

Fly:
6 ranks: Wind speed is considered 10 mph less with regards to penalties to the fly skill.
12 ranks: Your maneuverability is considered to be one higher.
18 ranks: Your flight speed is 10' faster.

Handle Animal:
6 ranks: The time to teach an animal a trick is halved.
12 ranks: You can teach an animal one additional trick beyond what they can already learn.
18 ranks: There is no penalty for teaching creatures with one or two intelligence but not an animal.

Heal:
6 ranks: You may perform first aid as a move action.
12 ranks: When treating deadly wounds, your wisdom is considered 2 higher. At 18 ranks, it is considered 4 higher.
18 ranks: When performing long-term care, you can treat as many patients as your ranks in healing.

Intimidate:
6 ranks: You gain a +2 to skill checks when influencing attitudes. This increases to +4 at 12 ranks, and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: When you demoralize an opponent, the success is considered 5 higher for purposes of how long they are shaken.
18 ranks: You can demoralize as a move action.

Knowledge:
6 ranks: You automatically succeed at "common knowledge" (DC 10 or lower) checks.
12 ranks: You have a +2 to diplomacy checks to people who have your knowledge subskill. This increases to +4 at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: When you successfully identify a creature, you gain +1 to hit and damage against that particular creature.

Linguistics:
6 ranks: You gain +2 on use magic device checks with regards to scrolls.
12 ranks: When you fail a decipher an unfamiliar writing, your wisdom is considered to be four higher.
18 ranks: You understand languages as if under the effects of a comprehend languages spell.

Perception:
6 ranks: choose one sense. You gain a +2 when using that sense.
12 ranks: You gain +2 to detect an invisible foe. This increases to +4 at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: You gain the trap-spotter rogue talent. If you already have this talent, you gain +5 to your peception when finding traps.

Perform:
6 ranks: You gain +2 to diplomacy when dealing with people who have your perform subskill. This increases to +4 at 12 ranks and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: You can earn an additional 10% when performing for money. This increases to 25% at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: You gain two additional rounds of bardic performance. If you do not have bardic performance, you can inspire courage as a 1st level bard for two rounds/day.

Profession:
6 ranks: You gain +2 to diplomacy when dealing with people who have your profession subskill. This increases to +4 at 12 ranks and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: You earn an additional 10% per week of using your profession. This increases to +25% at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: You gain +5 to your profession check with regards to knowledge checks regarding your profession.

Ride:
6 ranks: You gain +2 on handle animal checks involving riding animals. This increases to +4 at 12 ranks, and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: You can ride bareback without penalty. At 18 ranks, there is no penalty for riding an ill-suited mount.
18 ranks: You gain the mounted combat feat. If you already have mounted combat, you may use the mounted combat feat twice per round.

Sense Motive:
6 ranks: You gain +2 to all diplomacy checks.
12 ranks: You gain +2 on attempts to avoid being feinted. This increases to +4 at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: You can detect lies as the detect lies spell.

Sleight of Hand:
6 ranks: You can draw a hidden weapon as a move action.
12 ranks: When using sleight of hand for performance purposes, You earn 10% higher the listed amount. At 18 ranks this increases to 25%
18 ranks: You gain +5 on the opposed perception roll for attempts to take something from a person.

Spellcraft:
6 ranks: When crafting magic items, you are considered at +2 to the skill. This increases to +4 at 12 ranks, and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: You gain +5 to identify the properties of magic items.
18 ranks: You can identify magic items without using detect magic. It only takes 1 round to identity magic items.

Stealth:
6 ranks: You gain +2 to bluff skill when attempting a diversion to hide. This increases to +4 at 12 ranks, and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: The penalty for moving your normal speed while stealthed is -2. At 18 ranks, there is no penalty.
18 ranks: When sniping, you only take a -10 to your stealth check.

Survival:
6 ranks: When getting along in the wild, you can provide for a addtional person for every one point by which your check exceeds 10.
12 ranks: You gain +4 on all fortitude saves against severe whether when moving at half overland speed, or +8 when stationary.
18 ranks: You gain swift tracker. If you already have swift tracker, you can track at twice normal speed without penalty.

Swim:
6 ranks: Armor check penalties is reduced by 1 when swimming.
12 ranks: You can hold your breath for twice as long.
18 ranks: Your swim speed is half of your normal speed as a move action, or your speed as a full-round action.

Use Magic Device:
6 ranks: Choose a task. You are +2 with the skill when performing this task. Choose another task at 12 ranks, and another at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: When activating blindly, you never suffer a mishap.
18 ranks: When using a scroll, if you succeed by 10 higher than the DC, the writing on the scroll does not disappear.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Thanks Dilvias!

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There was a precedent for ideas like this, in the Alternity ruleset (TSR/WotC). Not d20, but the idea of skill tricks that you unlock in addition to the increased chance of success.


I like the idea, and have toyed with it myself; it's a good way to make skills useful even at higher levels, and thus, reward putting points into intelligence as well as high-skill point classes.

However, these abilities are mostly so incredibly tiny they just mean more book-keeping. If a system like this should be used, it should really be felt. I'd also like them to have a balancing factor on the skills, so that less valued skills get better abilities.

When determining abilities, remember what other abilities are in play at this level. Ignoring 5 ft. extra during a fall at level 18, where everyone is flying, most of the time is spent on various planes that might have other gravitational systems and so on? Not really useful.

A few case examples of the power level I'd aim for:

Acrobatics: 6 is decent, 12 and 18 are far below.
What I'd do: 6: All falling damage is subdual. 12: Double length/height on jumps. 18: All acrobatics checks to tumble automatically succeed.

Appraise: All below.
What I'd do: 6: ID as identify spell. For free, but takes an hour. 12: You are good at cutting good deals, treat your wealth in relation to WBL as 5% lower. 18: As 12, but 10% lower.

Bluff: 6: People passing on your lie uses your result (there's a feat for this already). 12: Add half your bluff ranks as a bonus to all Diplomacy and Intimidate checks. 18: Lies do not get penalties for being unbelievable, unless opponent has 12 or more ranks in sense motive.

Sczarni RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

stringburka wrote:

I like the idea, and have toyed with it myself; it's a good way to make skills useful even at higher levels, and thus, reward putting points into intelligence as well as high-skill point classes.

However, these abilities are mostly so incredibly tiny they just mean more book-keeping. If a system like this should be used, it should really be felt. I'd also like them to have a balancing factor on the skills, so that less valued skills get better abilities.

When determining abilities, remember what other abilities are in play at this level. Ignoring 5 ft. extra during a fall at level 18, where everyone is flying, most of the time is spent on various planes that might have other gravitational systems and so on? Not really useful.

I like the idea of skills granting abilities as well. But not bonuses to other skills. 3.5 did that and I was not a big fan.

Quite a few of the abilities above are really well thought out, but maybe not ambitious enough. I am going to try some of these out in my game. Of the ones posted, swim is my favorite.


Thomas LeBlanc wrote:

I like the idea of skills granting abilities as well. But not bonuses to other skills. 3.5 did that and I was not a big fan.

Quite a few of the abilities above are really well thought out, but maybe not ambitious enough. I am going to try some of these out in my game. Of the ones posted, swim is my favorite.

I can buy that. It's a good point.

Yeah, swim is nice, but the good bonuses comes too late. At level 18, any character should have access to Alter Self - which gives a swim speed of 30 ft. (so 120 ft. per full round action). You could easily give a swim speed of 1/2 normal at level 6, or at least 12.


Snorter wrote:
There was a precedent for ideas like this, in the Alternity ruleset (TSR/WotC). Not d20, but the idea of skill tricks that you unlock in addition to the increased chance of success.

Actually, the precedent is the original skill synergies from 3.0/3.5.

The first one 6 ranks in acrobatics gives you +2 climb reads just like the old skill synergies.


Nice idea. Thanks for sharing.


Dilvias wrote:

I was working on a house rule where you gain abilites as your ranks in the skill increases. These abilites come at 6, 12 and 18 ranks. You only get these abilites if the skill is a class skill for your class. I tried to make is so the rank 6 ability is worth about a trait, the rank 12 ability is somewhere between a trait and a feat, and the rank 18 ability is worth about a feat.

If you don't mind, please let me know if any of the abilites are too strong or too weak.

Skill Abilities:

Acrobatics:
6 ranks: +2 to climb skill.
12 ranks: +2 to reflex save when you jump, but missed the DC by less than 5.
18 ranks: When you fall, you can ignore the first 15 feet with an acrobatics feat

Appraise:
6 ranks: You must fail the action by 10 or more to get a wildly inacurate result.
12 ranks: You can appraise as a move action, or a standard action if you are scanning a treasure horde.
18 ranks: If you succeed the check on a magic item by 10 or more, you know the magic properties of the item.

Bluff:
6 ranks: Delivering a secret message only takes 1.5 times as long as normal.
12 ranks: Circumstantial penalties are halved when you bluff.
18 ranks: When you feint, your opponent does not get their wisdom bonus on the sense motive check.

Climb:
6 ranks: Armor Check penalties are reduced by 1 when climbing
12 ranks: You gain a +5 to the check when attempting to catch yourself or another person when falling.
18 ranks: You may move at half speed when climbing.

Craft:
6 ranks: You gain +2 to diplomacy when dealing with people who have your craft subskill. The skill is +4 at 12 ranks and +6 at 18 ranks.
12 ranks: +10% to price for items you craft. This increases to +25% at 18 ranks.
18 ranks: When calcuating time per week, The DC is considered 10 higher.

Diplomacy:
6 ranks: If you fail the diplomacy check by 9 or less, the attitude is unchanged.
12 ranks: When you are gathering information, it takes half the time as normal.
18 ranks: You can shift a creature's...

6 ranks bluff makes no sense since it would increase the time.

Cheliax

Charender wrote:
Actually, the precedent is the original skill synergies from 3.0/3.5.

Strictly speaking, since Alternity came first, naturally, the precedent must be Alternity. Of course, the idea may have been inspired by 3.0 Synergies...:)

Cheliax

Great ruleset, well thought out and seemingly balanced. But if I had to guess it was inspired by Elder Scrolls :).

Andoran

There are some creative and useful ideas here, but I would not implement them in this way. Synergies were probably taken out to simplify mechanics (and to avoid unreasonable high skill modifiers), so I would not add them back in as rules. I like circumstance bonuses if players are creative with their skill use and description, so I might give a +1 or +2 bonus during play (but I would decide for each situation as it happens).
.
.
Some of the other 'abilities' could be summed up as modifiers which anyone could use. They are also things that a GM may just decide on the fly.

For example:
Acrobatics:
When you deliberately fall any distance, even as a result of a missed jump, a DC 25 Acrobatics skill check allows you to ignore the first 20 feet fallen.

Appraise:
-5 DC: Use extra time to Appraise a single item (5 rounds/30 seconds)
+5 DC: Appraise as a move action
+10 DC: Appraise as a swift action (ie a quick glance)

and so on...

Again, nice ideas. I will definitely incorporate some of these as options in my game.

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