The Dragonlance Nexus

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Rule Variant: Suggested Skills

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Kendermage

A few things have been bothering me of late about the class skill selections available to each class; the main thing being the lack of flexibility. If you want a fighter good at wilderness lore you can only have it by purchasing cross class skills; making you only half as good as you should otherwise be. This fighter is raised his entire life in the woods; yet he only gets half a rank for each of his skill points that he spends in Knowledge (nature), Heal, and Survival. It doesn't sound fair to me. I have come up with another method.

Instead of "class" skills; each class has a listed of "suggested" class skills. Suggested class skills represent your run of the mill member of that class; they will typically take these skills. You do not have to take suggested class skills under this system; they are merely suggestions. If you do not choose to take the suggested skills; then you may designate an equal number of other skills as "class skills". No other changes are made to the character. He still receives the same number of skill points as a member of his class would; his Intelligence modifier continues to affect his amount of skill points; and ranks still cost the same (1 point per rank for class skills and 2 points per rank for cross-class skills). The only difference is that now a character's skills are not static. You now have a chance to customize your character as you see fit; rather than just having to accept a skill set, because that is what typical members of that class know. Below I have listed the number of skills that each class may choose.

Barbarian: 9 skills
Bard: 35 skills (if you count all the Knowledge skills; 24 if you don't)
Cleric: 10 skills
Druid: 13 skills
Fighter: 7 skills
Mariner: 12 skills
Master*: 14 skills (craftsman), 13 skills (performer), 13 (professional), 21 (if you count all the knowledge skills, 12 if you don't) (sage)
Monk: 18 skills
Mystic: 9 skills
Noble: 21 skills** (if you count all the knowledge skills; 12** if you don't)
Paladin: 10 skills
Ranger: 19 skills
Rogue: 29 skills
Sorcerer: 6 skills
Wizard: 15 skills (if you count all the knowledge skills; 6 if you don't)

*The master must always have at least the suggested skill for his primary focus (craft, perform, profession, or knowledge); if he doesn't he isn't a master.
**These totals include the noble's bonus class skill.

Multiclassing and Prestige Classes: When a character decides to multi-class; he does not get to choose his "class" skills as a true 1st level character would. A character who chooses to multi-class must use the suggested skills of the class he is changing to. The same thing applies to prestige classes; the character MUST use the suggested skills.

Example: Kendermage starts out his career as a sorcerer. At 1st level, his player decided to forgo some of the suggested skills of a sorcerer and choose different ones. In this case; he kept Concentration, Knowledge (arcana), and Spellcraft, but chose Hide, Move Silently, and Sleight of Hand as his other class skills. After a few levels as a sorcerer; Kendermage decides he wants to broaden his horizons and explore mysticism. When he take his 1st level in mystic he does not get to choose class skills; or rather his only class skill choices are from the suggest skill list for mystics. He recieves 4 skill points (2 from class and 2 from his Int modifer); which he applies to Heal and Knowledge (nature).

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