Roguish Skills

Creating game materials? Monsters, spells, classes, adventures? This is the place!
User avatar
killdefenses
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:43 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Roguish Skills

Post Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:14 pm

I've been working on a simple little supplement to help shape the Thief into other roguish archetypes. Basically, it's a list of alternate skills that you can replace any standard Thief skill with.

But I want you to help me improve it! What are some suggestions or changes you would implement to this? What is missing from it?

Right now, I'm somewhat wary of Speechcraft as a skill since those things are typically handled via roleplay or a roll on the Reaction table.
Attachments
BF-Roguish-Skills-Rough-Draft.pdf
(92.2 KiB) Downloaded 58 times
BF-Roguish-Skills-Rough-Draft.odt
(31.54 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:16 am

I like the idea of a disguise skill, but please ditch the disguise kit.

Slapping on a fake mustache and some eye shadow isn't a disguise. A disguise is a complete change of wardrobe, usually involving uniforms. So Unless that 5 pound disguise kit holds a complete ensemble of clothes that normally fills two steam trunks it is worthless.

The poison skill is interesting too, but I'd like to see a list of different poisons.

The acrobatics skill might resemble the great ways adept (monk) ability tho resist damage from a fall. Maybe with a pole , you can vault for the monks extra movement speed too. Certainly it would give you greater jump distance and jump height. And maybe the tumbling evasion of a bard. It might sound like a lot, but acrobats don't have much else to offer.

Speechcraft is problematic. Even if a player rolls well on persuading, the DM must ask for some role-playing, if only to know what cover story to roll with. Intimidating doesn't work at all unless you can insinuate an "or else". Again. The DM has to know what you're insinuating to decide the modifier and role play the outcome accordingly. It would be nice to have this as a general skill for all character classes, not just thieves. For instance, it would Also include negotiating and fishing for rumours.

I didn't see forgery, maybe i missed it.

A thief may want animal training. Perhaps the animals do the thieving for him.

The thief may want appraising skills. Not magical knowledge. Just an eye for discerning valuable gems , fabrics and jewellery. Helps pick out a target.

Fortunetelling is arguably a form of persuasion, or spechcraft. Except the target is usually already a believer. This skill could actually be made into a useful skill by giving the thief the ability to scan the customer. By picking up on subtle clues and getting the mark to reveal details about themselves you can learn about their address, their background, their family secrets, private affairs, business partners, precious belongings, and all the while leaving them feeling satisfied with their fortune and trusting you. While it looks like a general persuasion roll, this is actually a rare skill.

Seduction. It's not just for bards. There are a lot of caveats here. All Players need to feel comfortable with this.

Extra languages are always helpful.

Hidden compartments. They are good at finding them, and good at building them. You might want to treat this as part of find/remove traps. I've always expanded find/ remove traps to include building and setting traps.
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:30 pm

A follow-up note on extra languages.

while A low level thief would rely on picking pockets, a high level thief would find it much more profitable to engage in smuggling. Learning extra languages would go a long way in helping a smuggler.

That said, I really don't like putting a percentage chance to roll to know a language. You either know it or you don't. I much prefer a number for extra languages as you go up a level. It is reasonable to ask the player to write down their extra languages learned a they gain levels.
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:51 pm

Let's flesh out the forgery skill.

Forgery isn't just for lotto tickets. It's highly valued by spies. In that sense, it should be expanded to include cryptology. Both encrypting and decrypting.

Let's rename the skill the "forge and cipher" skill. It lets you a) recognize hidden messages, b) recognize the cipher used in encrypted messages C) decrypt messages, d) Encipher new messages, e) create and tamper with seals (both peuter and wax) so they do not appear broken, and lastly, f) forge handwriting and artwork.

We now can put together an example of 7 skills of a spy:

1. Forge and cipher
2. Extra languages
3. Disguise
4. Poisons
5. Move silently
6. Hear noise
7. Hide in shadows

Other spies might choose a different path. Someone might throw out languages for pick pickets, for example, or ditch move silently for seduction. Not knowing the exact skill set of a spy makes them more mysterious.

As I recommended above, speechcraft is a skill every character should have. everyone should be able to try to persuade, negotiate, intimidate, and command. An acting skill is integral part of disguise, so I don't see a need for a spechcraft skill.
User avatar
Daucuscarota
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:04 am
Location: Ciudad de México
Contact:

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:39 am

I'll get to the topic, just a digression before that.

Thieves are a problem. You can say you are a fighter and your ground will rely on you. You tell them you are a cleric and they will welcome you (as a nurse, but still). Confess you are a magic-user and they will fear you but aknowledge you will be helpful in, perhaps, 5 to 10 game sessions more (when you can cast good spells, anyway). Tell them you are a thief and they won't be glad to have you close.

I always liked thieves and rogues and similar classes. It's always been my favorite. And when I first met the Specialist class from Lamentations fo the Flame Princess, I liked it even more, because it replaces percentual rolls with 1 to 6 chances in 6, and you can either play the jack-of-all-trades archetype, “A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one,” or you can play that master, which should be called The Specialist.

In LotFP, you don't begin the game with fixed low skill levels as the thief does; you begin with a point (1 in 6 chance) in most skill, and you get 4 free points to distribute among your skills. You can then begin with up to 5 points (5 in 6) in about any skill, meking you a master of something, or you can begin with two skills at 3 in 6. When you level up, you get 2 additional points to distribute as you like, further mastering one or two skills or getting a little better at everything.

This way, you can master Architecture, Search and Stealth to become an archeologist, er, okay, a tomb robber; or you can master Climb, Sneak Attack/Assassinate* and Stealth to become a parkour assassin (like that famous videogame), or you can master Bushcraft, Climb and Search, to be the ranger. Tinkering, Sleight of Hand and Search and, or, Stealth, would make you the traditional thief.

Based on this, the thief in Basic Fantasy should be able to choose 7 skills from the extended list, the 7 skills from the core rules, plus the skills you and others develop.

Choose Languages, Speechcraft and Lore**, and your thief becomes an orator or loremaster.

Lore plus Performance*** gets you a bard (bards are not magicians, that's just stoooopid; they are artists and chroniclers).

Finally, all abandoned skills should be made at 15 or 20% or at 1 in 6; characters that don't have thief skills can tray some of them at 1 in 6, which more than 16% (see Traps, for example; p. 37). If an Ability has a positive modifier, it adds to the in 6 chances; +1 gets you at 1 or 2 in 6; +2, a, 2 or 3 in 6; and +3, 1, 2, 3 or 4 in 6. If you prefer percentual rolls, 1 = 16%, 2 = 33%, 3 = 49%, 5 = 66%.

*Assassinate is a little redundat. Sneak Attack can kill just the same, at least at low levels; if assassinate can kill enemies with a single attack, why is Sneak Attack necessary? Why would someone choose SA over Assassinate? The skill should have a counterbalance, maybe if the enemy succeeds his saving throw, he only gets half damage, AND the assassin gets a penalty of -2 or even -4 AC for the rest of the round. Futhermore, this skill is only useful against humans and some demi-humans.

**Lore. I can't go into this in any great depth, but Lore should be about popular knowledge of the world, including myths, legends, local History, old and new politics, local customs and manners, et cetera. It is not about the occult. There could be a separate Occult skill, if your rogue wants to be a Fortuneteller, for instance.

***Performance. The ability to play an instrument, to sing, to recite (or write) poetry or acting in a play (or a scam). The Artists should not be able to do all of these, just those appropriate for the concept.
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:19 pm

Instead of replacing all percentiles with a d6, I would suggest the d12.

Smaller increments. More room for improvement. Less chance of failure when mastered.

Most of all, the d12 is the most under utilized die.
User avatar
Dimirag
Posts: 2149
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:24 pm
Location: Buenos Aires (C.A.B.A.), Argentina
Contact:

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:30 pm

A d20 roll under rules is also a possibility. The die selected will set -or help to set- the speed at which the abilities increase.

If using a skill point system you can let the "specialist" to put a limited amount of points in whatever skill the player wishes, or let him put points up to a max number of skills.

If using a level based skill value you make that some skills count as two skills incorporating a single skills with extra uses. Ex:
backstab->assassination
find traps->find and remove traps
tumble->acrobatics
Sorry for any misspelling or writing error, I am not a native English speaker
User avatar
killdefenses
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:43 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:51 pm

Numberlyric wrote:Instead of replacing all percentiles with a d6, I would suggest the d12.

Smaller increments. More room for improvement. Less chance of failure when mastered.

Most of all, the d12 is the most under utilized die.
I actually made a d12 Skillset for LotFP a while ago. I tried to condense all the modern 5e skills into much more broad categories. It isn't perfect but it made for a good, diversely skilled party without stepping on the Specialist's toes too much.

https://www.docdroid.net/Mq1ENYg/lotfp-d12-skillset.pdf
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:15 pm

Another reason to use d12: it is easy to convert 1d6 chances on a 1d12.

Things that the rules would have you would roll a 1d6 for:
1. rolling for surprise
2. rolling for finding secret or concealed doors
3. rolling to find a magical trap
4. opening a stuck door
5. listening at doors
6. roll to detect sloping passages, stonework traps, shifting walls and new construction

In my games, I also use a 1d6 for fumble rolls. Anytime anyone rolls a 1 on an attack roll I call for a fumble roll.

Btw, if you wanted to hide, all classes have a better chance of hiding with an ability roll (base 15% at level 1) than a thief has with a class specialty - Hide roll (base 10% at level 1). This is modified by intelligence, so magic users are usually better at hiding than thieves for levels 1-3.
Numberlyric
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu May 05, 2016 12:48 am

Re: Roguish Skills

Post Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:06 pm

I know ability checks are optional, but they do highlight a couple thief skills that area are really low for thieves.

Find traps..........

-as for level one thief class skill: base 20% to find traps. Nothing says they can find magical traps.

-as per std rules: Anyone without this thief skill has a 16.7% chance (1 on 1d6) of finding a non Magical trap. Spell casters, clerics and magic users, have the save chance of finding a magical trap.

- as per optional ability check rules: anyone, even a 0 level character has a base 20% plus 5% for whatever intelligence bonus they have. A magic user will likely be better than a thief at finding traps until level 5.

Hide.................

- as per level one thief class skill: base 10% to hide.

- as per optional ability check rules: anyone , even a 0 level character has a base 20% plus 5% for whatever intelligence bonus they have. every one is better at hiding than a thief until level 5. A magic user will likely be better at hiding than a thief until level 7.

Seems to me a class skill should be better than a general skill.

You can either fix the thief class skills, or lower everyone else's. Fixing thief class skills is easier, just raise the base to find traps or hide to 25%.

Lowering everyone else's is problematic. You'd have to start by eliminating the optimal ability base skill checks. But that takes away a lot flexibility of the game. Or you can make it harder, by giving everyone a base of 10% (roll 1d20 target number 19). But that's not the end. So you Also want to make the standard rules for finding traps any harder? Right now, 17% vs 20% is about the same. But how do you make worse a 1 in 1d6 chance? Use a 1 in d8 ?

I would favor changing the base thief skills.
Post Reply