Saturday, 13 April 2013

Proficiency System for my EMO DnD part 1: Common

Proficiency systems and various manifestation have always been a problem. Various additions to theses systems have been applied.

The biggest problem for DnD game family was too many systems to resolve stuff.  Attributes provide bonuses but dont themselves get used. I am sympathetic to gamers ditching stats, and only mentioning them if they have a +1 or +2 or +3 and otherwise a stat isn't even worth mentioning.

My main approach has been to use stats for saving throws and for NWP. One of my earlier posts on Attributes for EMO DnD has some more on this and my changes to charisma and extra uses for wisdom.

Main flaw in NWP as presented in second edition was improving skills. Also lacked improvement per lv. Also that Rogues had a separate skill system which is insane an silly so I have made my thieves the NWP masters. Every Lv they get a new cunning trick lke a wizard gets a spell and a warrior learns a weapon. This gives thieves more abilities with a higher base success and makes them the master of non magic/scholarly NWP. My thieves here:

I have been pleased by this in play and players enjoy more weird abilities that shape who they are. I have stolen some feats for proficiencies too. Had to draw line between learnable abilities and outright magic a bit differently. Have produced wizards and priests who want lore and magic enhancements, diverse rogues and warriors so it paid off. With these and my class sub types i dont need a million character classes - 4 do for most things.

The biggest complaints I get about skill systems:

Too many choices!
What? But not too many spells or feats or magic items or other stuff. I understand trawling through lists can be intimidating. Thats why all my classes have example sects and varieties with example WP and NWPs. This lets you follow the example for a quick character till you get used to system and have time to digest them. Have also put most useful NWP with a # to help pick the most important ones that a party needs most often. Will do a basic emo booklet with less NWP listed for newbs. Put into groups and listed groups by player request to make lists less long. Has made editing with my classes tricky but will revise all foe compatibility.

Takes away role playing!
DnD most common roll is a an attack roll. In BRP and even Rolemaster fighting is deadly and avoided so skill rolls are more common. Call of Cthulhu game focuses on investigation and problem solving rather than tactical combat. BRP skill system defines your whole life experience to date and everyone is uniquer person with less slavish stereotyping of character classes. So I have always found this to be a strange call too. I prefer to use as a shortlist for ideas to solve a problem and a shorthand to roll playing rather than a replacement. Ive had players real knowledge destroy adventures with real knowledge so a skill roll might be made to see if character has player knowledge as a self imposed limit. I had ex millitary player who had to really struggle at not doing horrible things in game play with his real experience based skills. Good roleplaying should give extra bonuses too.

My class system is predicated on proficiencies
Its what makes bards and rogues and warriors as special as magicians. Magicians are up for the odd NWP tricks and magic enhancing techniques and strange lore. After first level cross training is available and I allow classes to learn NWP from other classes if they have a teacher. INT bonus provides slots that can buy any proficiency at 1st level. I dont mind odd weapons being used by wizards if they are very keen, or a warrior learning a rogue skill. Training rules here: Attributes for EMO DnD 
In a typical village a zero level human has only one NWP and a d4 HP
A militia man has a d6 hp and a WP as well

10% of a community are better than zero lv (could be 30-40% in some city areas)
10% of those are above 1st 1d20-10 any roll less than one = 1st level

Typical 1st and better in a small village of 150:
Shopkeeper merchant R1
The weapon smith W1
The blacksmith W1
The wise woman P1
The Healer P1
Militia chief W1
A common priest serves most communities P1
Wizard settled somewhere small W5
Apprentice of W1
An ox-herder W1
Tavern Keeper R1
Ferry Man R3
Local Lady Minstrel B1
Dwarf Prospector D1
Village Headwoman R1

This is just to help operate scale and frequency of NWP frequency in my setting

Class Stat WP NWP hit mod (without WP) Class NWP Set

Warrior Str 4 +1/lv 3 +1/2nd lv -2 Warrior Sets
Priest Wis 3 +1/3rd lv 4 +1/2nd lv -3 Priest and Magic Sets
Wizard Int 1 +1/4th lv 6 +1/lv -4 Wizard and Magic Sets
Rogue Dex 3 +1/2nd lv 8+1/lv -3 Rogue sets

Sorcerer Cha 2 +1/3rd lv 4 +1/2nd lv -3 Wizard, Priest and Magic Sets
Druid Wis 2 +1/3rd lv 4 +1/lv -3 Priest, Warrior and Magic Sets
Bard Cha 2 +1/2nd lv 6 +1/lv -3 Any sets including Magic Sets
Monk Wis 4 +1/lv 4 +1/lv -2 Any sets but Magician Craft Sets

Elf Int 2 +1/2nd lv 4 +1/2nd lv -3 Any sets including Magic Sets
Dwarf Con 4 +1/2nd lv 4 +1/2nd lv -2 Any sets including Magic Sets
Halfling Dex 3 +1/2nd lv 5 +1/2nd lv -3 Any sets including Magic Sets
Tako Dex 3+1/2nd lv 3+1/2nd lv -3 Any sets including Magic Sets

Elfmaids & Octopi DnD Proficiencies

WP Weapon proficiency - a specific weapon, fighting technique or martial ability
NWP Non weapon proficiency - profesional skills used by experts to earn a living

Basic Chance of NWP Success
Add +1 at 4th lv, then +2 at 7th, +3 at10th, +4 at 13th, +5 at 16th, +6 at 19th

How Succesful?:
Roll made by +1-2 required number = made it but a close call
Roll made by +5 required number = quality success
Roll made by +10 required number = spectacular success

Some proficiencies like sneak and hide or certain craft skills can be rolled together for convenience or possibly enhanced affects as per below. One roll for every skill used in round is permissible.

Some NWP can give a +1-4 (possibly more) bonus (decided by DM in situation) to another related NWP.  like Tumble and Acrobatics could each give give a +2 bonus to Jump for a total of +4. A survival skill roll could benefit from plant lore, hunting, forest lore river lore for +8. If your that committed to the wilds it should like home. If a theif acrobat has lots of awesome gymnast NWP they shoud be compliementry. These are decided on a case by case basis with the player or DM able to make suggestions. Be generous if lots of skills overlap.

Many NWP like spot or climb has a base of 1/2 the normal stat if anyone could give it a go. Anyone could try to balance on a ledge. A High DEX thief probably A better risk at balancing on a ledge than a drunk clumsy dwarf without special training. A party without a good alert member with a sensory NWP will have more fights, get less loot, miss more stuff because they will be rolling under half their base attribute to detect enemies.

Good role-playing could give a bonus +1-4. Most especially in interpersonal skills. Waving a severed head could provide a hero a bonus on intimidate, leadership, etc.

Often a skilled person does not have to roll in a non stressful situation.

Extra time (+1-4), quality tools (+1-2), spells and magic may all help too.

The stat used could vary in different situations.

If you spend a second NWP slot on a stat based NWP you are an expert and get +3 for a non class skill and +4 for a class one. A second slot makes you a master and gives a total of +6 for non class skill and +8 for a class one. 

Proficiencies Sets
Initial proficiencies come from your class. It is possible to cross train. Common NWP and Common Lore sets are available to everybody in all walks of life. Magician and Magician Lore NWP sets are available to all spell casters and some others.


Common WP
Weapon, armour, mounted combat style sets
Unarmed and fighting style sets

Common Craft NWP Set
Common Lore NWP Set
Warrior Set
Wizard Set
Priest Set
Rogue Set
Magic Craft NWP Set
Magic Lore NWP Set

I will finish part one with Common Craft and Lore Skills
# = every group should consider having one person with this
% = most frequently everyday useful for adventurers


Animal Handling CHA %
Can use to control, calm, herd, tame animals, use common trained beasts and predict their behavior

Animal Husbandry WIS

Can breed and farm animals for food, wool, milk, muscle power or other qualities for a living

Animal Trainer CHA
Can train one species such as horse, dog, hawk, falcon for basic domestication as well as fighting or guarding or advanced tricks by spoken command. Choose species per NWP slot. 

Artisan DEX
Make superior craft goods decorated with artistic quality representations of persons, scenes and beasts, enhances all other crafts and make more valuable and artistic. Can draw designs to most modern standards for craftsmen to follow 

Baker WIS
Make bread and other food from grains and other plant matter

Barber CHA

Know how to cut hair and shave in various styles gives +2 healing or first aid also

Blacksmith STR
Make everyday tools, simple weapons, shoe horses all from iron

Boating DEX %

Operate boat, raft or canoe  powered by oars or paddles or poles

Brewing WIS
Art of making alcoholic beer and wine as well as making vinegar
and sauces

Builder STR

Construct and repair buildings and shelter

Butcher STR
Kill, butcher and skin animals and preserve meat and skins, divide kills fairly

Carousing CHA %
Survive when drinking, screwing, gorging and partying on the cheap because you are so fun to be around, avoid dangers of party lifestyle, be entertaining guest

Carpenter DEX
Make goods from wood from buildings, furniture, boats, shields, fences, wagons, tools and more

Cheese Maker WIS
Art of treating milk and other foods into preserved foodstuff like cheese, tofu, sheep head cheese

Cobbler DEX

Art of making and repairing shoes, boots and footwear

Cooking WIS
Art of preparing, treating and preserving food stuff, also refining food to make edible

Dance DEX %
Know own traditional dances, can dance for long periods and learn new dances easily

Drive Wagon DEX %

Drive common horse drawn wheeled vehicles and sleds

Etiquette CHA #
Fine courtly manners make you appear noble and cultured and impress civilized persons

Farming WISCan cultivate fields, orchards gardens or simply encourage herbs to grow on wild trails 
First Aid INT
Can stop bleeding and treat minor injuries, stop dying from wounds if in negative hp, revive unconcious person, +1hp to any treated after a fight, can stack to healing NWP

Fishing WIS

Catch fish with nets, bows, spears, rod or reel and gather food from water bodies. Fishermen get no penalties for hitting targets in water due to refraction or water resistance

Goldsmith CHA
Craft gold chains, vessels, statues, mint coins evaluate quality and value and additives, Artisan improves skill to make items fit for royalty

Gongfarming CON
Expert in sewerage, waste removal and drains. Can value waste and use by products for industrial use like tanning, treating wool, cleaning, etc +2 Save vs disease or +4 vs nausea of decay

Grooming CHA
Can temporarily enhance charisma of a person or animal or yourself for show depending on how well you roll  bonus +1-2=+1, +5=+2, +10= +3

Herbalist WIS
Add 1d3 to daily healing, treat symptoms, give abortions, make contraceptives, fertility brews, prevent infections, fevers, help resist disease and poison. Save bonus depending on success +1-2=+1, +5=+2, +10=+3

Inn Keeper WIS
Can keep business or running hotel going, serve drinks and food, provide board and other services

Leatherwork DEX
May preserve animal skins as leather and make clothes and basic armour

Merchant INT %
Basics of trade practices as well as weights measures and basic counting and evaluation. Can count up to a thousand or 100 000 with an abacus

Mining WIS

Construct safe mines and tunnels, prospect for minerals, dig fast for hours

Mortician WIS
Prepare dead according to local custom including mummification and embalming and taxidermy, can prepare to prevent resurection, undead or avoid accidental burial of comatose persons

Musician CHA %

Can play a family of musical instruments – one slot for any from wind string keyboard or drums

Poetry CHA %
Can compose humorous verses or romantic epics or stirring tragedies

Potter DEX
Make tablets, bricks, pots, toys, statues and everyday containers, can fire to make stronger

Red Smith DEX
Make everyday tools, simple weapons, from bronze and copper

Repair WIS #
Can improvise repairs almost as new with basic or improvised tools and materials, a quick fix could hold for a task. Not always pretty

Rope Craft DEX #
Expert at tying and untying knots and using ropes in many situations. Can hang men or tie them, make simple traps, structures, secure goods, swinging, +2 lasso,+4 climb, or acrobatics or escape ropes

Sailing WIS %
Operate various sail powered vessels

Scribe DEX
Make paper, stylus and can make decorated manuscripts and books does not include knowledge of languages or of more than alphabet and basic counting to 100. Artisan and calligraphy make you even better, bookbinding too

Service WIS
Know how to be successful servant, slave, groom, housemaid, butler of superior kind, including managing a household and tending your superiors, ettiquette gives you ability to fit in with upper class and royal masters. Clean and rearrange stuff to look nice.

Silver Smith WIS
Make ritual tools, simple weapons, holy symbols, jewelery all from silver

Sing CHA %
Is a talented singing professional who can entertain groups and earn food and drink or life. Know songs for all occasions and  possibly some occasional historical knowledge of your home or from common circulation (Song Lore specifically does this better).

Smelting CON
May refine ore into quality metal and identify ore quality and impurities and make ingots or crude items by casting

Stone Mason STR
Construct and carve stonework, statues, headstones from stone, build walls

Story Teller CHA
May entertain for hours with tale of heroism, tragedy, horror & humour. Some possibly usable history but enhanced by other lore NWPs)

Swim CON #
Can strongly swim, dive, rescue others confidently while others flounder to stay afloat or just drown

Tailor DEX

Can sew to make and repair clothing, or sails from various materials in various styles

Tattooist DEX
Can make attractive traditional designs on skin to brand beasts and people. Can also pierce and scarify, Artisan lets you do this and be innovative and spectacular

Vermin Catcher WIS
Poison, catch and trap small animals which otherwise ruin supplies and spread filth, sell and eat your catch

Weave DEX
May make houses, ropes, clothes, nets, cloth, containers, nets, traps and snares by weaving any fibres


Animal Lore INT
Know legends and lore of beasts and theory and history of their use and husbandry

Cavern Lore INT
Know legends and lore of caverns including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

City Lore INT
Familiar with the great cities by name and more intimate knowledge of your present home

Desert Lore INT
Know legends and lore of desert lands including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

Dwarf Lore INT
Know legends and lore of dwarves their peoples, kingdoms and animals

Elf Lore INT
Know legends and lore of elves their peoples, kingdoms and animals

Faerie Lore INT
Know legends and lore of fey world, their peoples, kingdoms and animals

Folk Lore WIS
Know the ways of common folk and local stories of hauntings and curses and such which might give clues or just entertain, use to impress commoners

Forest Lore INT

Know legends and lore of desert lands including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

Fungi Lore INT
Know legends and lore of fungi and theory and history of their use and propagation

Ghost Lore INT
Know legends and lore of hauntings, spirits and the underworld as well as dealing with them to help them rest
Goblin Lore INT
Know legends and lore of goblinoids including their peoples, kingdoms and live stock

Halfling Lore INT
Know legends and lore of Halflings including their people, kingdoms and live stock

Ice Lore INT
Know legends and lore of ice lands including survival, peoples, kingdoms and live stock

Kingdom Lore INT
Know legends and lore of kingdoms and history of their rulers, borders and peoples

Legal Lore INT
Know legends and lore crime punishment and legal codes through the kingdoms and history

Local Lore WIS
Know legends and lore of the local region also very good at collecting local rumor and gossip

Mineral Lore INT
Know legends and lore of minerals metal and gems and history of their uses

Mountain Lore INT
Know legends and lore of mountain lands including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

Navigation Lore WIS
Know legends and lore and theory of plotting a course, making navigational aids. Finding your location

Plant Lore INT
Know legends and lore of plants and theory and history of their use and propagation

River Lore INT

Know legends and lore of rivers including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

Sea Lore INT

Know legends and lore of the sea and coastal lands including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

Song Lore INT
Know legends and lore from songs which may include fragments of history, religion, heroes and treasures

Swamp Lore INT
Know legends and lore of wetlands and bogs including survival, peoples, kingdoms and animals

Tako Lore INT

Know legends and lore of Tako including their peoples, kingdoms and live stock

Weather Lore WIS
Know the seasons, animal bird migrations, food and water availability, shelter needs and can tell the time and rough date outdoors. Can predict next 6 hours weather and wind direction if outside. This saves lives, helps with farming and sailing and travel


pt2 warrior
pt3 rogue
pt4 wizard and priest
pt5 Magic craft and lore
pt 6 weapons


  1. simple enuf; however, for NPC level, I would consider 2d10 -10 as they gives a less even distribution of higher NPC levels; i.e,
    1% chance of 10th level,
    2% chance of 9th level,
    3% chance of 8th level,
    etc . . .


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