Simpleton SkillsPosted: March 21, 2011
I think if I had to have ‘skills’ of some kind in my RPG game, I would just prefer them be a roll modified by (maybe) level and (possibly) ability. So maybe if there has to be a ‘hide’ skill, it can be a class skill for thieves (and maybe hobbits) and a non-class skill for everyone else (since anyone can hide).
So for class skills like ‘hiding’ or ‘move silently’ for thieves maybe you have a base 50% chance +5% per level, +5% for a better dex, etc., if you are a thief and a base 25% if you are a non-thief, +5% for every 2 levels. There might be some skills that are reserved for a class: i.e.: only thieves can pick locks.
Of course, perhaps the 50%/25% assumes average conditions. An ‘easy’ task (like picking a cheap and crude lock) might get an automatic 25% bonus, while a harder one (like picking an expensive and well-made lock) might get a -25% penalty. For moving silently, a character in metal armor or attempting to walk across a forest floor covered in dry leaves might take a penalty.
That said, as I have posted umpteen times before, my default is to prefer to handle such actions by “talking” and negotiating between the DM and the player(s) whenever possible. So if the player wants to hide, the player simply announces that he will attempt to do so. The player might attempt to modify his chances for success by mentioning ‘how’ he will attempt to hide… i.e.: “I will hide behind the tree and I am wearing dark colored clothing…” in order to convince the DM to attempt to rule in his favor. The ‘verbal negotiation’ method is what I prefer for ‘social interactions’ and similar events.