Friday, 24 February 2012

Beholder Basic: The Cleric

"No swords or bows and arrows can be employed, for the cleric is forbidden by his religion from the drawing of blood."

For Beholder Basic, you'll see I've boiled the list of skills down to just four.
Athletics: Want to leap up onto that balcony? Hold your breath underwater? Lift that portcullis?  Then test your Athletics.
Lore: Decipher that coded message? Recognise the ancient king in that carving? Activate that magic portal? Lore. This skill encompasses Arcana, History, Nature and Religion.  
Perception: As it was. Use Perception to spot traps and secret doors, or hear that assassin sneaking up behind you.
Stealth: For when you want to sneak up behind them. Also incorporates Thievery, so you can now use Stealth to pick locks and disable traps. Basically, everything sneaky.
Of course, this means some omissions. There's no Heal - in 4E, I feel the cost of spending an action is enough, and the DCs are so low anyhow - and no Dungeoneering (who uses it anyway?). Perhaps most noticeably, all the social skills have gone: Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate and Streetwise. My reasoning here is simply to encourage role-playing - get kids acting out social encounters rather than relying on dice - so I suppose that's one aspect where Beholder Basic plants its feet firmly in the Old School.

In a similar sense, Sandy and I have been having this ongoing discussion about whether or not Perception should be in the game. Rather than rolling dice, he argues that players should describe where they're searching. For instances where a roll may be preferable - such as searching for an invisible enemy - the DM just sets a DC for a flat D20 roll. I'm on the other side of the fence for now, but I may change my opinion. What do you think?


  1. Actually, my stance on perception was that you have a predetermined DC and a flat d20 roll when there's something non-essential to be discovered, with bonuses when players describe clever or accurate searching methods :) Though I'd come down hard on people gaming the system by describing every possible searching procedure 'coz that's just boring.

  2. Ah, yes, that's right. I'm still not completely convinced though.

  3. I don't blame you, I make no sense.

  4. I find that 'passive perception' works very well for my games so I think perception should be kept so that you can use passive perception. I would also rename stealth to Sneaky, just to make it more understandable that it includes both stealth & thievery actions.

    Just my 2¢, happy gaming, DaddyDM ( )

    1. Thanks for dropping by! And yeah, I've been thinking Stealth could be a bit of a misleading name for a while. Thanks!