Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

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Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Havard » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:02 pm

Do you use Non Weapon Proficiencies? Which Proficiences do you allow in your games?

Have you ever tweaked how they work or do you follow the rules as detailed in the PHB?

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by genghisdon » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:59 pm

yes, the vast majority (inc books far beyond the PH)

yes, tweaked healing/herbalism, others. alertness is just a flat +1 vs surprise, no wis checks. some others are like that.

tweaked racial bonus languages too, made them 1/2 slot each, or in other campaigns, free up to INT limit.

I change improving them too; rather than +1 to the score (& nobody ever spending extra slots), I have a scaling benefit; low scores gain the most from an extra slot, checks that are already high get as little as +1.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by agathokles » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:28 am

Player's Option goes in that direction, too.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:44 pm

Havard wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:02 pm
Do you use Non Weapon Proficiencies? Which Proficiences do you allow in your games?
There is a pretty good list of NWPs that Charles W. Plemons III put up.

I'm not sure if he has listed all the sources that have NWPs, but the list will help you find them all to check how they work.
Havard wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:02 pm
Have you ever tweaked how they work or do you follow the rules as detailed in the PHB?
One of the things I liked about 3e was that the Skills were kind of similar to Non-Weapon Proficiencies.

I'm not sure I'd reboot NWPs for a 2e game, but I think I would be tempted to trawl 3e sourcebooks to see if there were any additional Skills that could be converted into NWPs. But looking at Charles W. Plemons III's list, it looks like NWPs have pretty good coverage.

I suppose there are some NWPs (from different sources) that do the same thing in totally different ways. For example you have Boatwright, Canoe-making, "Carpentry, Spelljamming" and Shipwright. There are three types of Riding NWPs. You also have two different Sign Language NWPs. Plus there is Slow Breathing and Slow Respiration. Using different abilities for these almost identical NWPs is a bit odd.
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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Kythkyn » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:21 pm

Havard wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:02 pm
Do you use Non Weapon Proficiencies?

Yes, for most games. I like them
Which Proficiences do you allow in your games?
Pretty much any of them? At least, the ones in the book core book, and then setting specific ones if we're doing that. Anything outside of that I guess we discuss the likelihood of it coming into play
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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Havard » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:03 pm

Kythkyn wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:21 pm
Pretty much any of them? At least, the ones in the book core book, and then setting specific ones if we're doing that. Anything outside of that I guess we discuss the likelihood of it coming into play
Okay, I was thinking about whether you add NWPs from the Complete Handbook series, setting books, homebrew etc :)

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Digitalelf » Wed Jul 03, 2019 9:13 pm

I've used proficiencies since their introduction in 1st Edition AD&D's Oriental Adventures back in 1985. I use all of them, though I don't allow setting specific proficiencies outside of that setting unless it makes since to do so. For example, I would let characters from outside of the Al-Qadim setting use "Display Weapon Prowess" in other settings, but I would not let a character outside of the Spelljammer setting know "Planteology" (unless of course the character is exposed to this proficiency during game-play).

I use proficiencies as they are presented within the books.
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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by thorr-kan » Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:41 pm

I use them, mostly from the PH, AA, and some from the complete series.

I use them as is. They're more like feats in 3E than skills. They're things the players see especially good at.

I've got an rtf file with (ETA: NOT over 50 !) 135 pages of NWPs and sources. That sucker has grown on me.
Last edited by thorr-kan on Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Havard » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:05 pm

How do you handle "unskilled" attempt at NWP activities?

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by agathokles » Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:10 pm

Half score, unless it is very specialistic (in that case only a proficient character could perform the task), or it is relatively simple for unskilled people (in that case I allow an ability check in addition to the skill check).

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Digitalelf » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:42 pm

Havard wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:05 pm
How do you handle "unskilled" attempt at NWP activities?
The Player's Option: Skills & Powers book has rules for "Use of Proficiencies by Nonproficient Characters". One of the few rules from those books that I actually make use of.
Player's Option: Skills & Powers wrote: In general, characters will not be able to perform a task unless they have some level of proficiency in it. However, the DM can allow nonproficient adventurers to attempt proficiency tasks, under a few circumstances. In general, the tasks performed must be very simple, and the character will not be able to perform them very well. Tasks that nonproficient characters attempt would generally fall into the automatic success category if they were attempted by a proficient character. A nonproficient character must roll a successful check using the proficiency’s initial success rating, modified by the character’s relevant ability.
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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Cromstar » Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:26 am

Havard wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:02 pm
Do you use Non Weapon Proficiencies? Which Proficiences do you allow in your games?

Have you ever tweaked how they work or do you follow the rules as detailed in the PHB?

-Havard
For the most part I used the NWPs how the rules are written. That said, the NWPs themselves have been mixed up, moved around, combined, separated, and expanded upon. Our current NWP list, containing all of them we could find in official sources (from Masque of the Red Death to Spelljammer to Red Steel to the PO: Skills & Powers and beyond), other sources such as magazines, fan sources, and plenty of our own touches, has some 500-ish total listed NWPs. That also involved plundering some other editions for NWP ideas and making them from scratch or editing them to 2nd Edition, such as some from the 1st Edition Oriental Adventures (oh hey, this already got a shout out!). We've not yet delved too much into 3rd Edition, but as Big Mac mentioned, its a pretty easy source of some NWPs we've probably overlooked.

Probably the biggest change we made was that some NWPs now have pre-requisites and form small chains of abilities (ie, if you want to distill hard liquors with the Distilling NWP, you have to take either Brewing or Winemaking first).

Another change included adding two new categories to NWPS: in addition to General, Warrior, Wizard, Rogue, Psionicist, there are now Craft/Trade and Modern. Craft/Trade functions like the General category (anyone can take an NWPs from this category at regular cost), but indicates those NWPs that are career skills that define jobs (this plays into a mechanic we have for NPCs without classes but with specialized jobs who can have a leveling system for those jobs). The Modern category contains those NWPs that are out-of-place and anachronistic in a D&D world that's pre-Industrial Revolution and pre-most-guns, including things like modern sciences like Psychology and Electricity, as well as things like Quick Draw (as in, with a gun), and Marksmanship.

Most of the other big changes we've made have been to the NWPs themselves, not how the mechanic itself functions. There's been a lot of consolidation (official sources had an Administration NWP in 3 different sources, for example; or there would be a general NWP and then some specific versions of it would get their own NWP for seemingly no reason such as Falconry being its own NWP even though Animal Training or Animal Handling is a thing, or the dozen different variations of NWP for making a boat someone already mentioned). The biggest changes we've made in this case are to the Alchemy NWP and entire potion-making set-up (there is now a 3-tiered NWP set up that has unique branches for each of wizards, priests, and psionicists) and to Engineering, which has been broken into a small school of 6 or 7 different types of engineering that don't really overlap (ie, civil engineering, siege engineering, mechanical engineering, etc)

Beyond this minor tweaks and changes have been made to a number of NWPs, especially those that were designed for a very specific location or setting that clearly would exist elsewhere in a more general form elsewhere (ie, Somatic Concealment from Dark Sun or Politcs from the HREF on Rome).
Havard wrote:
Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:05 pm
How do you handle "unskilled" attempt at NWP activities?
This has always been my concern with the NWP system and I've generally fallen into the realm of 'you had best be prepared to roleplay to your best ability for anything that is not a directly applied technical skill, such as mediation or diplomacy (for which there are NWPs but for which I won't immediately penalize PCs for not having). For things that are very clearly a specific skill, I'd either disallow it (or more accurately allow an attempt with a 100% failure rate if that's what they really want) *or* if its something relatively simple I would expect an *average* unskilled person to have a chance at, I'd probably call for a relevant ability check (using the ability of the NWP probably) with a modest to hefty penalty. Ie, you can draw a map even if you don't have the Cartography NWP, but you aren't going to be using standard map symbols or drawing to scale, etc. But if you wanted to make a crude sketch that showed the general relative locations of specific places, I'd allow you an INT check to scribble something out (ever wonder why those NPCs are always giving you crude maps that miss a lot of info or aren't that accurate? Now you know!). Similarly, if you don't have Artistic Ability (Painting) and you want to be the next (first?) Van Gogh, you're going to be disappointed.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by thorr-kan » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:22 pm

Additional house rule: I use the racial NWP tables from the Domains of Dread hardcover as well as the standard General/Psionicist/Priest/Rogue/Warrior/Wizard tables.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by rendclaw » Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:25 am

I use them pretty much whole hog, but I wanted to change the check scores to make them a little more reasonable. So, I used the Back in the Saddle Article from Dragon Magazine. A base score of 10, plus or minus the relevant ability bonus/penalty, plus or minus the check modifier. Most of the time, the average check score is between 9-15. You can specialize in an NWP which would raise the base score to 13, double specialization raises it to 15, every NWP slot after that raises the base score by 1. Also, for every level the PC obtains, he or she gets an "Improvement point" that he can put into an NWP, which would raise the base score by 1. As DM I would encourage putting that point into the NWP that gets the most use, but the player is free to do what he wants.
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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Illuminatus » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:22 pm

I let rogues use their discretionary points to improve NWPs. (5 discretionary percentage points = 1 skill point.)

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Havard » Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:32 pm

Illuminatus wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:22 pm
I let rogues use their discretionary points to improve NWPs. (5 discretionary percentage points = 1 skill point.)
I like this idea! :)

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Lord Torath » Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:08 am

I used them, and gave bonus NPWs equal to the Bonus Langauges from high Intelligence - plus, you could still have the bonus number of languages.

Int: 18: +7 Languages AND +7 NWPs. Not sure if that was BtB or not.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by AuldDragon » Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:36 am

Lord Torath wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:08 am
I used them, and gave bonus NPWs equal to the Bonus Langauges from high Intelligence - plus, you could still have the bonus number of languages.

Int: 18: +7 Languages AND +7 NWPs. Not sure if that was BtB or not.
It isn't BTB, but that's what I do too. I recommend it for any campaign with a lot of languages.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by thorr-kan » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:36 am

AuldDragon wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:36 am
Lord Torath wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:08 am
I used them, and gave bonus NPWs equal to the Bonus Langauges from high Intelligence - plus, you could still have the bonus number of languages.

Int: 18: +7 Languages AND +7 NWPs. Not sure if that was BtB or not.
It isn't BTB, but that's what I do too. I recommend it for any campaign with a lot of languages.

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It's a common house rule.

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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Angel Tarragon » Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:05 am

thorr-kan wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:36 am
AuldDragon wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 3:36 am
Lord Torath wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:08 am
I used them, and gave bonus NPWs equal to the Bonus Langauges from high Intelligence - plus, you could still have the bonus number of languages.

Int: 18: +7 Languages AND +7 NWPs. Not sure if that was BtB or not.
It isn't BTB, but that's what I do too. I recommend it for any campaign with a lot of languages.

Jeff
It's a common house rule.
Can confirm. I did the same thing when I GMed 2E.
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Re: Non Weapon Proficiencies - How do you use them?

Post by Digitalelf » Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:35 am

rendclaw wrote:
Fri Jul 19, 2019 6:25 am
I used the Back in the Saddle Article from Dragon Magazine.
I will more than likely be using this system in my next campaign.
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