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More on Skills
OK, what I really hate about skill systems is taking them into account when writing content (adventures, modules, etc.) You see it all the time, it shows up in the content like this:

An ogre guards the doorway silently, refusing to let anyone pass. Players may attempt to trick him into letting them by (Bluff or Diplomacy DC 20), or may attempt to sneak past (opposed Move Silently vs. the ogre's Spot of +5).


Wow, that just sapped all the creativity out of the situation. Instead, wouldn't it be more interesting to describe the ogre's motivations and character, and then let the party interact with him in any way they can think of? Sure, they might try sneaking past or they might try convincing him they are allowed past, but they might also try something wildly different. By listing out those solutions, I feel like they are the only correct choices, and suddenly the adventure is all railroady. I think the worst thing a GM can do is have a proconceived idea of the 'right way' to get past any kind of encounter.

And worse still, when I sit down to write my own material, do I take into consideration what skills my players do and don't have? If I do, I'm severly crippling my creativity by trying to ensure I put in plenty of areas where the halfling's cooking skill actually comes in useful. If I don't, then the halfling's player is disappointed that he spent so many resources improving a skill he never gets to use.
October 8th, 2009 - 10:52 am | Comments (10) | PERMALINK

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