Do you think their was room for an athletics skill


Homebrew


I was just thinking a STR based skill that would add to your Bend bars lift crates type rolls. Just to make it not a flat str check. Seem like it would of fit well with the other skills in the game.

Not essential mind you but I think it could of made sense and you could tweek str check type rolls to fit into a skill dc instead of making it a weird nitch check.


I'm not too sure that lifting and bending has enough technique to it to actually make sense as a skill. Most of it "should" be made out of the STR modifier.

EDIT: I actually would like more pure ability checks. Right now, STR is the only one who's really supported by the rules.


we could add swim under it as well then I always felt swim was kind of niche skill as well.

also not just BBLG but you know anything really str based lifting kicking down doors etc.


I'm not a fan of clustering widely different areas together. Swimming does have a lot of technique behind it but not much to be applied outside of swimming itself (except for the general breathing techniques).
And I've found that the swim skill's usability really depends on the campaign. It goes from useless (when you never get to use it) to insane action-economy insurance (when you need to fight in water and want to make sure that you get all the juice out of your actions).

How about a "breath technique" skill that is used to enhance physical activity? While I don't think it fits into Pathfinder, a system that uses secondary checks as parameters could definitely use it. Luck could be another secondary parameter check.


hmm true I suppose but I feel like you don't really make a swim check to hold your breath its more for keeping yourself afloat and how fast you can swim and resisting currents etc. an endurance type skill could count for the breathing but I was thinking more for the physical exertion part of swimming it fatigues you fast I suppose that might be more con then str.

I was just thinking how often do people have someone make a str check for something. without a skill to back it up it seems almost entirely luck based. 8 str wizard roll 18 fighter roll 8 at most adds +5 so wizard has easier time doing X then fighter. Nature of the dice I know but everything else seems to have a skill behind it.


Rub-Eta wrote:

I'm not too sure that lifting and bending has enough technique to it to actually make sense as a skill. Most of it "should" be made out of the STR modifier.

EDIT: I actually would like more pure ability checks. Right now, STR is the only one who's really supported by the rules.

I guess that would be an option too maybe we should roll a lower die for ability checks like a d10 or something since so little gets added to it. Just to make it seem more about ability then luck.


Definitely agree to that. Many of the STR DCs sits at the 20+ mark right now, since it's not supposed to be achieved by a commoner who takes 20. But that still means that a +5 STR character will fail 3/4 times. You almost need to take 20 to actually pass, which means that you can't reliably kick in a frail door in just a few seconds.

EDIT: I do, however, also not like idea of breaking the general pattern of rolling the d20 for checks.


Vidmaster7 wrote:

I was just thinking a STR based skill that would add to your Bend bars lift crates type rolls. Just to make it not a flat str check. Seem like it would of fit well with the other skills in the game.

Not essential mind you but I think it could of made sense and you could tweek str check type rolls to fit into a skill dc instead of making it a weird nitch check.

Then you have rules manipulation where the guy of 8 Str out presses the guy of 20 because of the skill ranks, skill focus, or other things he uses to monkey the numbers. Because all in all skill ranks and bonuses can and will be a much higher factor than the raw stat modifier. Just how you can build a super Diplomat even with a tanked charisma.

While weight lifting involves some skill, 99 percent of it is raw muscle, trained, developed, but muscle nonetheless.


Agree with what most people have posted here.

What your proposing is mostly about raw strength, no real skill to it at all compared to other tasks.

Knowing all the lifting technique in the world doesn't help you lift heavier weights than your muscles can handle. It just doesn't work.

If anything, lower the DCs but also lowering the die used I think would help make sense.

A human with 20 strength is about the pinnacle of natural human strength. In theory, 25 strength is the pinnacle for a character that started at 20 strength and put 5 ability point increases into it over 20 levels (without using any sort of magical means to increase it). This nets them a +7 strength modifier. Considering most DCs start at 20+, this means a majority of the time characters fail strength checks (although working together with add another checks can really help, 3 party members can aid to provide a +6 bonus to the party's strongest member).

So, if you really wanted to make the system more friendly to success maybe halve the DCs from what they normally are, and instead roll a d10 for the check. This is slightly less random, and makes the strength score of an individual character more relevant. Now your +7 strength modifier looks a lot better to make that DC 12 strength check. Especially if you allow "take 5" as an analogous thing to take 10 rules. Now the strong man can automatically succeed in that DC 12 strength check (which have been a DC 25 check before).


My first though was that you'd reduce the DCs by 10 while also dropping the die down to 1d10. But half the DC may actually be better.


Although it might be unpopular since people love their feats, you could add a bonus to strength modifier on the Athletic feat that gives a circumstance bonus when using Str in those instances. And maybe an increased bonus at level 10 (how skill focus gives a +3 initially and a +6 at level 10) or a scaling bonus like power attack does based on level.


You can get the same effect of halving DC and changing the d20->d10 by just doubling the STR modifier for these checks.

Edit: you could also add a feat, Athletic, that doubles your stat modifier for all STR and DEX checks, if they are straight up checks (not skill rolls or initiative rolls, etc...)


I hate the idea of having to be taxed with more feats - especially since we're talking about STR.


Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Then you have rules manipulation where the guy of 8 Str out presses the guy of 20 because of the skill ranks, skill focus, or other things he uses to monkey the numbers.

This can be done now though. An 8 strength character with the traits vandal and destructive blows and the feats Breaker of Barriers and Oath of the Unbound has a +7 to break through stuff while the strength 20 guy only has +5. Have the 8 strength guy be a 1/2 orc and give him smash and it's +12 to break down doors... Makes the super buff 20 str guy seem puny!


I was kind of imagining athletics being more then just knowledge but also something to represent that you work out and train, lung capacity maybe too now that rub-eta has me thinking.


I think an Athetics skill is a terrible idea, because the people who would most naturally gravitate to it would be the people whom it fits the least. Frontline fighters and whatnot don't have skill points to burn, but my weedy little wizard has a million skill points per level and can/could easily end up out-benching the fighter.

Feats aren't much better; while fighters have feats to burn, they've also got some still competition for what to do with them (which would you rather have, another +1 to hit with your primary weapon, or the ability to bench press more?) Paladins, rangers, and barbarians just don't have the feats to spare.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

I think an Athetics skill is a terrible idea, because the people who would most naturally gravitate to it would be the people whom it fits the least. Frontline fighters and whatnot don't have skill points to burn, but my weedy little wizard has a million skill points per level and can/could easily end up out-benching the fighter.

Feats aren't much better; while fighters have feats to burn, they've also got some still competition for what to do with them (which would you rather have, another +1 to hit with your primary weapon, or the ability to bench press more?) Paladins, rangers, and barbarians just don't have the feats to spare.

You make some valid points. A way to 'fix' it might be to make it an automatic 'skill' based on BAB. In addition, instead of making it a straight replacement of strength rolls instead give bonuses to a strength roll based on the DC made like +1 per 5 DC or something like that.


Starting to sound more like a CMB roll then, maybe that's a better idea. Has a built in size modifier as well.


Take a cue from the Acrobatics skill?

If you have 3 ranks in the Acrobatics skill, you get better mileage out of Fighting Defensively and Total Defense (+1 and +2 to AC respectively).

Maybe you could cook up something similar for the Athletics skill?

If you want to work with the system (using 5th level as "earth maximum" baseline), keep the modifier modest through the first 5 ranks.


The CMB check for breaking down doors etc. honestly has a lot of promise.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
The CMB check for breaking down doors etc. honestly has a lot of promise.

I'm not sure. Why do you get better at breaking down doors because you're a more experienced person? Is breaking down doors something you need to be taught? Something you need to learn?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
The CMB check for breaking down doors etc. honestly has a lot of promise.

I'm not sure. Why do you get better at breaking down doors because you're a more experienced person? Is breaking down doors something you need to be taught? Something you need to learn?

Actually yes, at least breaking down a modern door is a skill to be taught and learned, but it's pretty simple.

You don't put your shoulder into it, and that's a big mistake people make because that's how it's shown in movies. You kick the door, preferably around the keyhole/door knob. This is typically the weakest point of the door's structure. You want to drive the heel of your foot into the door using a front kick. Don't try to jump kick the door.


Claxon wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
The CMB check for breaking down doors etc. honestly has a lot of promise.

I'm not sure. Why do you get better at breaking down doors because you're a more experienced person? Is breaking down doors something you need to be taught? Something you need to learn?

Actually yes, at least breaking down a modern door is a skill to be taught and learned, but it's pretty simple.

You don't put your shoulder into it, and that's a big mistake people make because that's how it's shown in movies. You kick the door, preferably around the keyhole/door knob. This is typically the weakest point of the door's structure. You want to drive the heel of your foot into the door using a front kick. Don't try to jump kick the door.

Okay, that's what you learn going from level 1 to level 2. What do you learn going from level 4 to level 5?

My rule-of-thumb, which I stole from the flavor text from some edition or other that I don't even remember, is that attribute checks are for things you don't get better at. Skills (and related increase-with-level numbers, like CMB or BAB) are for things you do. Kicking open doors sounds like a classic instance of "you don't get better at it," because it really is basically brute strength. In the same way you can't study for a fitness test, and you can't teach someone to be tall enough to be a basketball center....


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What do you 'learn' when bull-rushing a creature, as you go up in level.

You simply become more competent at what you do.

How can you 'jump higher and higher' just by becoming more skilled? What did I learn from level 1 to 20 to triple my jumping distance (assuming I put a point in acrobatics each level)?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
My rule-of-thumb, which I stole from the flavor text from some edition or other that I don't even remember, is that attribute checks are for things you don't get better at.

But you CAN learn how to break or lift things better.

"Knowledge Is Power (Ex) (People of the River): Your understanding of physical forces gives you power over them. You add your Intelligence modifier on combat maneuver checks and to your CMD. You also add your Intelligence modifier on Strength checks to break or lift objects."


Bab has to count for some physical improvement right?


graystone wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:

I think an Athetics skill is a terrible idea, because the people who would most naturally gravitate to it would be the people whom it fits the least. Frontline fighters and whatnot don't have skill points to burn, but my weedy little wizard has a million skill points per level and can/could easily end up out-benching the fighter.

Feats aren't much better; while fighters have feats to burn, they've also got some still competition for what to do with them (which would you rather have, another +1 to hit with your primary weapon, or the ability to bench press more?) Paladins, rangers, and barbarians just don't have the feats to spare.

You make some valid points. A way to 'fix' it might be to make it an automatic 'skill' based on BAB. In addition, instead of making it a straight replacement of strength rolls instead give bonuses to a strength roll based on the DC made like +1 per 5 DC or something like that.

Thing is... I'm not sold on the need for "fixing" because I'm not sold on the skill itself.


_Ozy_ wrote:
What do you 'learn' when bull-rushing a creature, as you go up in level.

Ask the offensive line coach at your local high school football team. There's a surprising amount of technique involved. If you want to see even more depth, it will probably involve some travel, because there aren't a lot of sumo stables outside of Japan.

Just a simple example: where do you put your hands? Hand technique is key, and the person whose hands are inside often wins at the line of scrimmage.

There's a lot less technique involved in weight lifting simply because the barbell itself is not resisting you. It's not trying to counter-push you, it's not trying to move your hands into a bad position, et cetera.


Vidmaster7 wrote:
Bab has to count for some physical improvement right?

Not generally, no. A lot of fighting techniques are, well, technical.

Either you're learning how to do a specific technique (for example, learning how to do an effective backfist), or, more subtly, when to do a specific technique (in the case of a backfist, the answer is probably "never," but what the hell). You can see some examples of specific techniques from Karate here; karate is a good example precisely because it's so structured in terms of what you're supposed to be able to do as your BAB increases -- but the ability to do, for example, the combination of "outside block" and "elbow strike" won't actually make you materially stronger, any more than the ability to do the cha cha will improve your juggling ability. Your carrying capacity won't go up when you get your blue belt -- although if you gain enough "levels" you'll probably get more attribute points that you can put into strength.

But if you look at, for example, what a 20th level wizard has learned about fighting,.... yes, he's substantially better at hitting things than his first level counterpart, but he's no stronger and no more agile than he was at first level. So the BAB improvement doesn't reflect physical change, but simply the fact that he's learned not to hit people in the fists with his face.


good point
kind of back to the d10 half dc option then.

or double strength bonus for the checks.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

So the BAB improvement doesn't reflect physical change, but simply the fact that he's learned not to hit people in the fists with his face.

I now want to make a character that does this effectively. Spec for Bite or unarmed, Strike Back feat seems like a good start.


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Orfamay Quest wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
What do you 'learn' when bull-rushing a creature, as you go up in level.

Ask the offensive line coach at your local high school football team. There's a surprising amount of technique involved. If you want to see even more depth, it will probably involve some travel, because there aren't a lot of sumo stables outside of Japan.

Just a simple example: where do you put your hands? Hand technique is key, and the person whose hands are inside often wins at the line of scrimmage.

There's a lot less technique involved in weight lifting simply because the barbell itself is not resisting you. It's not trying to counter-push you, it's not trying to move your hands into a bad position, et cetera.

And jumping 3x the original distance? Additionally, if you think there are 20 levels worth of 'technique' to learn for bullrushing, then certainly learning how to throw your weight properly into bashing down a door is just as plausible.

Generic weight lifting shouldn't be a strength check, it's a carry capacity.


Well, our group has an Athletics skill, but it's not at all related to what you're proposing (which I agree is simply a Strength Ability check.)

In our game, Athletics (Str) is a new skill that covers Climb, Swim, and Jump checks. We also moved Fly to Acrobatics, mostly because we consider Fly being its own skill to be awful (we like the rules just fine, just not as their own skill.)


What about an Athletics Skill that Subsumes Swim and Climb and Jumping and in addition the skill Gives a bonus on strength checks equal to half the ranks in that skill (or at a 1:1 ratio whatever ratio seems reasonable) up to a maximum of the characters strength bonus.


Gulthor wrote:

Well, our group has an Athletics skill, but it's not at all related to what you're proposing (which I agree is simply a Strength Ability check.)

In our game, Athletics (Str) is a new skill that covers Climb, Swim, and Jump checks. We also moved Fly to Acrobatics, mostly because we consider Fly being its own skill to be awful (we like the rules just fine, just not as their own skill.)

That's basically the Physical "Skill Group". They added Ride and Escape Artist to the list, which is reasonable.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Gulthor wrote:

Well, our group has an Athletics skill, but it's not at all related to what you're proposing (which I agree is simply a Strength Ability check.)

In our game, Athletics (Str) is a new skill that covers Climb, Swim, and Jump checks. We also moved Fly to Acrobatics, mostly because we consider Fly being its own skill to be awful (we like the rules just fine, just not as their own skill.)

That's basically the Physical "Skill Group". They added Ride and Escape Artist to the list, which is reasonable.

I did actually look at grouped skills, but they were a touch *too* homogenized for my tastes (though I agree that they're very reasonable.)

Since PF did a lot of skill combining (balance + tumble = acrobatics, spot + listen + search = perception, hide + move silently = stealth, and so on), this was one combination that our group really adored in 4E and simply decided to adopt in PF.

We also *uncoupled* a skill and created a new primary knowledge skill, Knowledge (Occult), which identifies aberrations and psychic phenomena.

In general, our philosophy leans a *tiny* bit towards skills being fun things that allow the party to feel like they can contribute more outside of combat, and should therefore be a little more accessible. To that end, we made the above changes and adopted the Background skill system.


Well looks like we got an athletics skill now. I'm personally thinking all strength checks should now be athletics checks.


Rub-Eta wrote:
EDIT: I actually would like more pure ability checks. Right now, STR is the only one who's really supported by the rules.

I agree 100%. Initiative is a Dex check. Stabilization and enduring environmental hardships are Con checks. Piloting is a Wis check. Negotiating with called outsiders is a Cha check. But the number of ability checks in game are minimal, and hardly used at all in my experience. I posted a pretty comprehensive live in a thread a couple years back. They very well could be a bigger part of the game without extensive houseruling. A GM actually using the existing rules would be a good start. If they were used more, Feats, traits, and abilities that grant bonuses on ability checks would becomes more important.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I have in the past house ruled some skills.

Athletics (STR): Encompasses, Swim, Climb and the Jump function of Acrobatics.

Might (STR): Encompasses burst bonds, break and increases carrying capacity by 1 point for each rank.

Endurance (CON): Encompasses enduring environmental dangers, ignoring fatigue for staying awake for long periods, and a special use which allows a character to ignore the penalty of a poison or disease they're suffering for a minute.


If say there were a player that didn't necessarily have the strength to bend an iron bar but had enough unarmed damage to bypass its hardness and inflict damage, then you could describe it as them bending the bar if you wanted to. It's all just a matter of description.

That makes me wonder if you're allowed to make attacks when bound by manacles. The rules, from I've read, don't support the idea that you can't. So would a Brawler be able to break out of their manacles with unarmed damage? Seems probably so, and honestly the idea of it seems cool anyway.

I've always liked abilities that allowed you to do strength related tasks while not depending on your strength score. An ability like the Barbarians Hurling ability, for example, which depends on the size category of the object that they're allowed to lift and throw, not weight.

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I personally don't like ability checks. In a game where skill checks are the main game mechanic, it feels awkward to have exceptions like ability checks. In many cases where the game requires an ability check, I felt like a skill check or saving throw was more appropriate. It feels unnecessary an intuitive.

Worse is that ability checks usually feel unfun because they're a total crapshoot. Even a character with an ability score of 20 will have a very significant chance to fail what is supposed to be an "easy" ability check DC.

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