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Leedwashere wrote:
Charabdos, The Tidal King wrote:

I don't like the way this works for skills at all. What if I don't want my level 20 character to have a +20 proficiency modifier in any given skill? Wat id I want him to have a +10 proficiency modifier in one skill, +2 in another skill, and +10 in a third skill?

Also, besides better skill feats, why pick up any skill ranks beyond trained? The difference between a +20 modifier and a +23 modifier isn't much.

I think the point is that if you don't want those unlocks, there isn't a huge pressure to keep investing in a skill. A token investment remains as effective as a token investment. You don't have to keep dedicating resources to being just okay at something. You only need more investment if you want access to the really cool toys a skill has to offer (or if you want a better chance of crit success / fumble avoidance).

Nah, I get the concerns here. It's one complaint that I've always had with "binary" skill systems. When everyone gets the same number of skills, and they're either "all the way good" or "all the way bad", you can't really stand out from everyone else. It was something I despised in D&D 4e. Classes felt same-y. That said, 5e did an adequate job of giving flexibility by having customizable backgrounds, and in P2e it looks like you will still be able to get the "dabber" approach by spreading out lower ranks of many skills instead of mastering a few, and spreading out skill feats along with it.

I'd not say it isn't a concern, but I'll acknowledge there's reason to be cautiously optimistic, at least.

Overall, this system doesn't sound too bad. I actually like the idea of certain uses of a skill being "gated", so that only someone who has invested in them will have access. The idea that at higher levels, skills will make you "like a character out of real-world myth and legend" is definitely a reward I feel was critically missing.

On the other hand, what's up with those modifiers? Unless DC is getting substantially scaled back, this just feels pointless. I get that the gating system is already going to do most of the work, but when it comes to checks that someone with a higher and lower degree of proficiency can both attempt, a +1-3 modifier isn't going to feel like you're much better at that skill at all. Sure, I get that on a level-by-level basis, the first edition system only sees your bonus go up by +1 at a time, but I think there's two things to consider there. First, with only five levels of proficiency, increasing your rank just to get a +1 on checks isn't going to feel satisfying. Secondly, in first edition you get that +3 right away for investing in a class skill, so having to completely master a skill to get it in second edition feels like taking something away, rather than gaining something.

Deadmanwalking wrote:

The Greater Hat of Disguise allows the gender and race shifts all by itself, since Alter Self is a real, physical change and can swap gender.

Also, it's official. So, yeah, use that.

I think that falls pretty soundly into my "Things the party shouldn't have a chance to steal." category.

Googleshng wrote:
There was a 3.x item that specifically transformed you into a particular individual (which I think by default actually is a female elf), a variation of which was used back in Shackled City (basically a full body suit of skin). And a similar variation, I believe, shows up partway through Second Darkness as a spell... less disgusting alternatives may also exist.

That sounds pretty promising, actually. Do you remember anything else about it?

blahpers wrote:
You're the GM. Make the item.

I am actually VERY against doing that. I want the adventure to be something that the players can write off, and tell "I kid you not, this happened" stories about later. If I start adding in custom items, especially a lot of them, I increase the risk of raising curiosity. Then I get players asking, "Who made these items?", "Why did they make them?", and the like. At that point, either I have to waste their time and mine on letting them track down perfectly mundane and uninteresting explanations, somehow work a series of extremely specific minor transformative items into a greater story to reward their curiosity, or deal with it becoming a constant red herring, as party members go looking for the "Elf Girl Conspiracy" every time an NPC is seems to be acting strange.

I've been brainstorming ideas for random adventures to send players on for a while now. One of the ideas that stuck with me, is having the party encounter, or otherwise be put on the trail of a mysterious entertainer who has been gaining popularity in establishments frequented by the upper class. This lovely elven maiden would always arrive for and depart from her shows unobserved, and no one would be able to find out anything about her origins. For all appearances, she would seem to have appeared from nowhere.

Eventually, the party is to discover that she is actually a dwarven outcast (probably a rogue) who has been using magical items to conceal his identity. I thought that a Girdle of Opposite Gender would be good to include in his loot, along with something to boost their charisma, and something to turn them into an elf. However, the idea seems doomed at the first hurdle, since the Girdle of Gender Changing is a one-time permanent effect, whereas I prefer something that lets them slip their "diva kit" into a bag and blend into the crowd to get away.

...and yes, I know that a Hat of Disguise could handle all the appearance changes, but I'd rather not use that. For one thing, having it be so simple would cheapen the surprise, I feel. For another, I consider the Hat to be a very useful item, and since there is always the chance that any item you give an NPC could end up in the hands of the players, I'd rather stick them with something less convenient to use (multiple parts) and more limited application (only lets you become an elf/swap genders/become an elf of the opposite gender).