Specialists got bare skills

Lamentations' skills are a bit weird. We thus fix that by lopping them off completely. Hyah. Like so:

A Specialist's Skill is equal to his level.

Much better. Now instead of 3in6 sneak and 2in6 bushcraft and 1in6 architecture and, and, and, you just have one number to keep track of, just like those lucky fighters. And like fighters you batter your ever climbing number against an opposing number. We'll call those numbers predicaments, 'cos difficulty class is as ugly as AC and you can always just ignore me anyway.

Definitions and Examples of Adversarial Encounters

10 - Trifling predicament - Sneak up behind someone in pitch darkness

12 - Modest predicament - Track a horseman through a muddy field

14 - Worthy predicament - Steal the guard's key from under his nose

16 - Significant predicament - Scale a sheer and slimy wall

18 - Confounding predicament - Find the seamless secret door

There is of course room for further gradients, but less is entirely trivial and not worth the time, while higher is rather unfair and possibly just impossible.

What about Sneak Attacks? Simply add the specialist's Skill to their attack roll, anything they roll over the required amount is inflicted as additional damage.

Can you attempt a task multiple times? Generally that should be obvious, but if in doubt then no. Locks are just too complicated, doors are just too well hidden. If you took the lock home and pored over it for days at a time then maybe you'd figure it out, but in the heat of the moment you're just not good enough. But if you just fell off a wall, then sure, climb it again.

Example: Conan over there is a level 6 specialist, he wishes to climb a pesky tower. The GM decides that the tower is tall but abundant in handholds, so declares it to need a roll of 14+. Conan would then roll a d20+6 aiming for that number. Job done.

And guess what else? Every other class just got access to skill checks. Roll the dice and see if you get lucky. Hey, why not also get a default +1, just like on attack bonuses? Sure!


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  2. I hate to tell you, but I disagree with all of this. First of all, removing skill point allocation makes all specialists the same, instead of characters who, you know, specialize. One specialist can be a ranger while another is a thief. I've doubled the amount of skills in my game, adding things like animal handling, first aid, history, etc. Having a character improve at all these at once would be weird and maybe OP.

    Second, I don't like having difficulties. I save skill rolls for situations that require an expert. If the task is really hard, I make the player roll two or three times. I don't even like the modifiers that Raggi puts in for some situations.

    Finally, by giving other characters a better chance at skills, you take away what makes the specialist special. No spells and no attack bonus...if you make skills too easy for other classes, why play a specialist? It would totally suck. You have to be clever and creative as is.

    1. That's fine.

      The point was to make specialists pair with fighters, they'd both be equally bland under this system. What's good for one should be good for the other, surely?

      Not that I use any of this. These things are just experiments in playing with rules, swishing 'um around to taste. If I were to play Lamentations again I'd use a variation of this: http://whatwouldconando.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/how-to-be-adventurer.html