Tome of Prowess (3.5e Sourcebook)
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Introduction: The Importance of SkillsEdit
Welcome to the Tome of Prowess, Skills for the Mundane and the Masterful.
In the multiverse that D&D represents, people can begin their life as serfs and, through trials and challenges, end up as legendary heroes capable of amazing feats that rival the gods themselves. Some accomplish this by learning and exploiting the secret ways of the multiverse, using magic to accomplish what some look on as miracles. Others train themselves extensively, and accomplish feats beyond lesser mortals through will and skill alone. Skill points represent that skill and training, and they are the primary method of utility ability advancement for those who put in hard work instead of cheating with magic.
Or at least this is what D&D would like you to think, given the weight the designers placed on skill points and skills themselves. In reality though, the skill totals required to do amazing things are only acquired up in the epic levels, and by that point, spellcasters have been doing all of your fancy skill tricks for many levels and your neat trick just isn’t relevant. You’ve probably been doing it yourself with magic items and don’t even know or care that you can do it with that skill you’ve brought up with you.
This supplement for the 3.5 D&D game presents skills to correct that, but it does so by sacrificing the simplicity (and with it the irrelevance) of skills at mid and high levels. There’s a lot more abilities for each skill to keep track of with this modification. And that’s ok, because that’s what the non-spellcasting classes really need.
|A Note on Balance|
|This modification, on its own, will add substantial power to the poor non-casters in the game, and a bit of power to the half casters. If completely utilized, it should bring the monk and fighter level classes up to or above rogue level, and allow all characters to contribute to the game longer than their chassis would normally allow. Keep in mind that if you prefer a lower power game, or your games don’t run past 9th level, this may not be something you should consider implementing. If your games often run into the high levels and you’re tired of fighters depending on magic items or casters to remain useful in the party, this is absolutely something you should consider thoroughly.|
While this work is largely my own, there are people who contributed material or other support and should be recognized.
- Bigode assisted with a rather thorough editing pass of the skills while I was posting them to the wiki in the second phase. Typos, incorrect references, junk abilities, and actual nonsense were all corrected or pulled as a result of his work.
- IGTN is responsible in large part for the jump skill. His work to make a non-linear scaling jump was taken as the starting point, with his permission, for what eventually wound up in the book. Its posting to TGD also convinced me to put up some initial work I had been sitting on for a while to get some feedback. He was the first user to incorporate it into another complete wiki sourcebook, his Book of Elements sourcebook, despite that work being complete and this one still in progress.
- MisterSinister was an early adopter and source of continued motivation to finish things up. He also contributed the following feats: Blood Magister, Dread Chill, Master of Minds, Shadow Focus, Shaman of the Land, Skin Like Armour, Theologist, Touch Me If You Can, Trendsetting Xenophile.
- Parakee contributed the following feats: Always Aware, Fast-Talker, ToP, Orator, Powerful Leader, Rumormonger, Unseen Assailant.
- TheDarkWad contributed the following feats: Jack of All Trades, Prowess Variant.
- LeadPal contributed to the "Playing the X Game" sections, including almost all of the Perception entry (minor edits were made from his version, which can be found here.
- A special mention also goes out to Ghostwheel. While he hasn't contributed work to the project, he has served as a sounding board for abilities on several occasions and his interest in adapting this work to his other projects has helped me tighten things up where appropriate.
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