Using Proficiencies with Skills
Ok, so that quick and dirty skill system kept coming up in my mind and I realized that maybe I could pick out the proficiencies that would need to be ‘fixed’ to work with the system. Let’s see how that goes.
A lot of proficiencies work as written, because they modify magic, or combat, or other factors. As such, they don’t need to be figured into the system at all. Other’s provide a focus for aspect of skills and therefore create a demarcation (everyone might have Lore, but without Magical Engineering, you can’t use Lore to figure out what a magic item is, for example). So they retain their ‘as written’ usefulness. In fact, I’d go further and say that Profs that lack an improvement mechanism (unlike Acrobatics) could be improved in lieu of one of your skills.
Acrobatics: Due to the combat advantages of this Proficiency, it will stay unmodified. Characters without it can still perform acrobatic activities by rolling Athletics modified by their dex, but not to gain the specific benefits this proficiency provides (such as gaining advantages in combat).
Alchemy (G): this is required to know about potions and alchemy. This is outside a normal Lore roll.
Alertness: As written except adds +2 to Listening and Searching rolls.
Animal Husbandry (G): As written.
Animal Training (G): As written. Wilderness skill will not allow Training animals.
Arcane Dabbling: As written.
Art (G): As written.
Bargaining (G): As written.
Beast Friendship: Can be used for identification at 11+ if a Wilderness roll is failed. Additional benefits as written.
Bribery: As written.
Caving (G): As written (caving/mapping do not fall into any other skill).
Cat Burglary: As written, rolling against Athletics.
Climbing: the character can climb as a thief, separate from their Athletics score (allowing an additional roll if they fail their athletics check).
Collegiate Wizardry (G): without this, characters must make a Lore roll to know anything about any magical order. With this, you have the auto-identify ability and a second roll if Lore fails on other orders.
Contortionism: as written, not a normal part of Athletics.
Craft (G): as written.
Disguise (G): as written (not covered by normal skills).
Dwarven Brewing: as written.
Eavesdropping: +2 to Listen checks.
Engineering (G): as written.
Gambling (G): as written.
Healing (G): as written (not covered by normal skills)
Knowledge (G): as written. Represents a specialized amount of knowledge in a specific field, allows a second roll at 11+ if Lore checks are failed.
Labor (G): as written.
Land Surveying: as written.
Language (G): character gains 4 language slots that they can start filled, or fill as they encounter languages in the campaign. If 9+ INT they will also be literate in the tongues they know. NB: I think that one proficiency for a single language is waaaay harsh, and since if the class were built with languages they would get 4 for one proficiency, I think that the cost of one for one is too much. Since there are no mechanics for learning languages in B/X, I’m not sure that this tack on is really the way to go.
Lip Reading (G): as written.
Lockpicking: as written (+2 to Locks, pick a lock in 1 turn at -4).
Loremastery: as written (Loremastery goes beyond the Lore skill to more esoteric knowledge).
Magical Engineering: as written (Lore cannot be used to identify any but the most famous historical items).
Manual of Arms (G): as written.
Mapping (G): as written.
Military Strategy (G): as written (not covered in normal skills).
Mimicry (G): as written (not covered in normal skills).
Mountaineering: +4 to Athletics rolls when climbing mountains with proper gear.
Naturalism (G): allows second roll if failed Wilderness roll for specific wilderness type.
Navigation (G): as written. Wilderness skill is not used to avoid getting lost (use the mechanic in the Wilderness adventure section for that).
Performance (G): as written.
Prestidigitation: as written, and +2 to Slight of Hand.
Profession (G): as written, outside of normal skills.
Riding (G): as written, outside of normal skills.
Seafaring (G): as written, outside of normal skills.
Siege Engineering (G): as written, outside of normal skills.
Skulking: +2 to Stealth.
Survival: as written. Characters without this proficiency have to roll to find food as normal, while those with this
Theology (G): can be used if a Lore roll is failed to identify religious symbols and myths, while automatically identify those you follow.
Trap Finding: +2 to Traps and the character may find a trap in one round (rather than one turn) by making a successful skill throw with a -4 penalty.
Tracking (G): as written. Tracking is outside of the Wilderness skill.
Trapping (G): the character gains a +2 to Trap rolls to build traps and snares, or to detect pits, snares and other simple wilderness traps.
Addendum: After spending all that time on that little project, it occurred to me that it might be even simpler for those proficiency above to steal the Advantage Mechanic from D&DNext. Namely, if you attempt a skill roll and the circumstance is covered by a proficiency, you can roll again if you fail (at the same difficulty). So, if a character with Mountaineering also had a +6 Athletics, and they failed a roll while mountain climbing, they could immediately reroll the die (with the same modifiers) and if the second roll passed, it would be considered a success.