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Removing BAB, Skill based weapon system for T20


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This has been discussed tangentially a number of times already.

This is the system I am intending to use. Probably first thing to note is that I don't overly subscribe to game balance as an issue.

I had a couple of goals in mind when designing this. First off it had to be simple enough to be useable and easy to memorise. It had to be able to convert currently existing characters over to the system. Lastly, if possible, it had to bring the system more similar to the CT system.

Instead of BAB each "Weapon Proficiency" has a corresponding skill. For the purposes of BAB when using that weapon an arbitrary -3 modifier is applied to the skill rank to bring it back into line with a more normal BAB progression. Therefore a second attack would be gained at Skill Rank 9 rather then BAB 6. Other Feats that require certain levels of BAB are effected in the same way.

All Classes gain an additional number of skill points per level to represent the lost BAB gain. This rate is +1/+2/+3/+4 matching how many BAB would normally be gained over 4 levels. ie: Academics gain +1 skill point per level, Marines gain +4.

As per some interpretations skills that have ever been a class skill all have the same maximum. When that skill is crossclass for the current level it still needs to be paid double for a rank. If a skill has never been a class skill then its maximum is (level+3)/2.

A class is considered to have the associated skill if it has the proficiency on its starting skill list or on its additional class skill list and you have taken the proficiency from that class or a previous one.

Classes that have the best two BAB progressions are considered to have Weapon/Unarmed as a class skill.

For example:
Academic: All weapon skills are crossclass unless you have the appropriate hobby
Scout: Class skills (Weapon/Marksmans, Weapon/Unarmed) extra class skills (Weapon/Lasers,Weapon/Ships Weapons).
Marine: Class skills (Weapon/Marksman, Weapon/Swordsman, Weapon/CombatRifleMan, Weapon/Unarmed), additional class skills if the character has the associated proficiency(Weapon/Lasers, Weapon/Ships Weapons, Weapon/High Energy)

Weapon Focus is kept the same (in general a smaller grouping then the associated skill) and skill focus (weapon) is not valid to be taken.

Most weapon skills are Dex based. The exception is artillery, vehicle and starship weapons which are based on widom. These were formerly the "gunnery" skill.

I am using a slightly modified Weapon Proficiency list. There is the addition of WP/Unarmed, and what is classified under each class of weapon is slightly clarified. Note that many weapon systems can be used with multiple Proficiencies.

Modified Proficiency/Skill List
Artillery (was field artillery)
Combat Rifleman
Heavy Weapons
High Energy
Ships Weapons
Vehicle Weapons

Gunnery as an existing skill is either subsumed into Weapon/Vehicle, Weapon/Ships or Weapon/Artillery whichever is most appropriate.

Martin the retired Marine Officer come Military History Lecturer
Marine 6, Academic 2
He receives an additional 36 skill points from being a marine, and an additional 2 skill points from being an academic.
WP/High Energy
Weapon Skills:
W/Combat Rifle/9
W/High Energy/8

Any Thoughts?

I'd drop the 'buy 2 ranks for cross-class skills' because I always found that to be stupid. It's already limited by the maximum number of ranks you can put into the skill.

I must have also misunderstood what you said last night about this. I thought each BAB increase gets you 1 skill point devoted to a weapon skill. Like, a 20 level marine would have 20 extra points to put into the weapon skills.

Perhaps there ought to be something for defence as well. I feel the whole AC system is unsatisfying. I put on a leather jacket and suddenly I'm a little bit harder to hit or punch? ⌧ that. If I put on a leather jacket a blow should be felt less than if I were... naked, or something. Armour still gives damage reduction, just not an increase to defence.

So instead I was thinking of putting the class based defence rating from SWd20. Then you came up with this idea and I thought of a 'dodge skill' which represents the kind of 'duck & cover', "Keep your head down, mate" training a soldier would undertake. Would that come under it's own proficiency? Or would you need the Dodge Feat as a pre-req, then put points into a 'Dodge Skill'?

Also some more thoughts: you dismiss Skill Focus as not being applicable, yet 'Weapon Focus' is essentially the same thing. Perhaps WF should increase it's bonus to +2? To correspond with the bonus SF gives to regular skills.

I was also thinking if you take 'Focus' then the skill it covers becomes a class skill if it wasn't already. I know Hobby already takes this role, but to my mind... if you have a hobby aren't you already y'know, focusing your energies into it? (I should be clear, I hate how d20 has all those bloody feats. I'm a '2 feats for the price of 1' kinda player, if I can get away with it.)

Oh right, last night you or your friend (it shames me that I forgot his name... was it Wig?) mentioned the house rule where if you spend 5 ranks into a relevant knowledge skill, you can add a +2 synergy bonus to a similar skill. So for this topic, let's say I have W/Unarmed, W/Swordsman and W/Marksman at various skill levels. Maybe I have K/Jujutsu, K/Fencing or K/Kenjutsu (whatever), and K/CQB (Close Quarters Battle) at 5 ranks each. Thus, each W skill I listed above has a +2 synergy bonus.
An alternative to AC comes from the B5 RPG.

Basically, 10 + your reflex save. I actually like this idea. Armour is strictly damage reduction.
Actually, AC and AR are often misinterpreted. If you are wearing armor, you are NOT hader to hit; you are harder to hit EFFECTIVELY.

I usualy use the touch attack AC as a guideline here; "The thug swings his *insert blunt object here* and strikes you on the shoulder, but the blow glances off with little effect" is along the lines of what the PC would hear, if the touch attack succeeded but didn't beat the AC of the character.
Originally posted by Archhealer:
Actually, AC and AR are often misinterpreted. If you are wearing armor, you are NOT hader to hit; you are harder to hit EFFECTIVELY.

I usualy use the touch attack AC as a guideline here; "The thug swings his *insert blunt object here* and strikes you on the shoulder, but the blow glances off with little effect" is along the lines of what the PC would hear, if the touch attack succeeded but didn't beat the AC of the character.
But if he uses an object and swings it, he does a normal attack. Touch attacks are only used if you wrestle or grapple someone.

Other then that I do agree with you.
Actually, touch attacks serve multiple purposes: It represents that you have successfully made contact with your opponent; often a prerequisite for other actions (Grappling included). So if you attack and the TOUCH attack would have succeeded, but the attack roll isn't enough to surmount the defensive bonus of the AR. Thus, contact was made, it just wasn't any use.
Why is there an arbitary -3 modifier to all weapon skills? I know this brings it back into line with the normal BAB progression, but this seems irrelevant if the purpose is to remove BAB anyway...

I also don't think you can do the 'gains a second/third/fourth attack at level x, y, z...' thing which normal BAB has, which was always dependent on class level. I never liked that rule. I've been thinking that you can have multiple attacks at any level - clvl1, even - and the only limit is how many penalties you want to accrue to your weapon skill roll.

Say an extra attack confers -2 to both the first and second skill roll. A third extra attack confers a -4 to THAT skill roll, a fourth a -6 to THAT roll, etc. Perhaps the limit should be six attacks, one for each second of a combat round. You could shoot six bullets from an autopistol in a single round, though you're not likely anything beyond the first two or three shots.

Someone has explored the possibility of using weapon skills instead of BAB in D20 before. Wish I could find the URL easily. If I do, I'll post it here. Perhaps Google might be your friend in this.

Good luck,
Hi !

I hop on the bandwagon of this discussion because I'm toying with idea of using the following rules ... I'd appreciate your comments on the rules and their usability. Thanks !

Weapon Skills determine your Base Attack Bonus.
You can't increase Weapon Skills with normal Skill-Points !
Instead they are developed with Weapon Skill Points (WSP), which are determined by the Class of the PC. Each Character Class has an Entry about

how many WSPs you get when you reach a new level. Unused Weapon Skill Points are kept vor 1 Level.
There is a Limit to the Development of all given Weapon Skills determined by the level of the Class in which you reach a new level (see

When your Weapon Skill-Bonus reaches +6/+11/+16, you gain the possibility for a second/third/fourth Attack. You have to
spend an additional Weapon Skill Point per Weapon Skill to activate this Second/Third/Fourth Attack. After spending this point, it increases

further with the Primary Weapon Skill at no additional Cost.

Weapon Proficiency Feats determine in which Weapon Skills you may Spend your Weapon Skill Points when reaching a new Level.
If you don't have a Weapon Proficiency Feat, you are at -4 at using a Weapon of this Type.


There may be exceptions to these rules via the following Feats:

Combat Training
- Gain 4 Weapon Skill Points (usable more than once)

Smooth Fighter
- You may get an additional Attack in a Weapon Skill one point before the normal cyclus once !(usable more than once, not stackable)

Weapon Expert
- Gain a Skill Maximum of +2 in any one Weapon Skill or +1 in two Weapon Skills you are already proficient with (Maximum still is 20) (usable

more than once, stackable max. 3 times)

Weapon Proficiency (specify)
- gain a Weapon Proficiency as Proficiency for the Class you just reached a new level in


When Fighting with Two Hand Weapons/Pistols you gain exactly 1 additional Attack !

Multi-Classing :
You may advance only in Weapon Proficiencies of the Class you advanced in plus all Weapon Proficiencies, which were added by a feat.

Robot :
A Robot may only advance in Skills up to a limit of (Artificial) Intelligence -8 (+ evtl. upgrades for specified skills).
Weapon Skills are limited by the same Formula and must be bought for each Attack in Form of the (installed) Weapon and the Weapon Program.
Robots don't get additional Attacks when reaching a designated Skill Bonus, instead you can install additional Weapons/Programs.