Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Limiting 'Local' Knowledge

Last response: in Video Games
Share
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 5:55:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...

Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc better
than common knowledge for every single area in the gameworld...every
village, every town, every city...just for 1 point? If so, that's quite
a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a point for each different
area. Am I misreading the skill description?
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 11:01:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
> I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
> answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>
> Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc better
> than common knowledge for every single area in the gameworld...every
> village, every town, every city...just for 1 point? If so, that's quite
> a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a point for each different
> area. Am I misreading the skill description?

You're reading it right.

However, the DM is free to apply a modifier to any roll made by any
PC... It would make sense that a drow raised in Menzobarrenzan would be
better at making Knowledge:Local checks there than a human raised on the
surface.

That being said, if the DM is going to make such adjustments then he
should also give bonuses to "home turf" Knowledge:Local skill checks (in
the city/area the PC is from, etc).

As said earlier, the trick is not to make the skill trivial or useless.

- Ron ^*^
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 11:40:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Werebat wrote:
> Mark Blunden wrote:
> > i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
> >
> >>I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
> >>answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
> >>
> >>Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc
> >>better than common knowledge for every single area in the
> >>gameworld...every village, every town, every city...just for 1 point?
> >>If so, that's quite a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a
> >>point for each different area. Am I misreading the skill description?
> >
> >
> > I think it's just poorly named. I like to think of it as "Knowledge
> > (gossip)", or "Knowledge (current events)". Basically, whereas other
> > Knowledge skills might be visualised as people learning and memorising books
> > from particular categories in the library, the character who takes ranks in
> > this skill is one who keeps up with all the newspapers, has an ear for
> > general gossip (as opposed to specific gossip, which Gather Information
> > covers), and just tends to quickly get a good feel for the local area
> > wherever he goes.
>
> Good point. It's worth noting that this is the one knowledge skill
> available to rogues.

I always saw that Rogues could do it as a sign that it equates out to
Knowledge: Streetsmarts.

Was I wrong? Is there something better for this?
Related resources
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 3:26:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

snikers000@hotmail.com wrote:

>
> Werebat wrote:
>
>>Mark Blunden wrote:
>>
>>>i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
>>>>answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>>>>
>>>>Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc
>>>>better than common knowledge for every single area in the
>>>>gameworld...every village, every town, every city...just for 1 point?
>>>>If so, that's quite a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a
>>>>point for each different area. Am I misreading the skill description?
>>>
>>>
>>>I think it's just poorly named. I like to think of it as "Knowledge
>>>(gossip)", or "Knowledge (current events)". Basically, whereas other
>>>Knowledge skills might be visualised as people learning and memorising books
>>>from particular categories in the library, the character who takes ranks in
>>>this skill is one who keeps up with all the newspapers, has an ear for
>>>general gossip (as opposed to specific gossip, which Gather Information
>>>covers), and just tends to quickly get a good feel for the local area
>>>wherever he goes.
>>
>>Good point. It's worth noting that this is the one knowledge skill
>>available to rogues.
>
>
> I always saw that Rogues could do it as a sign that it equates out to
> Knowledge: Streetsmarts.
>
> Was I wrong? Is there something better for this?

It isn't far off, but don't forget the Knowledge:Local has to do with
more than just that... Knowing lore about werewolves, for example,
falls into the Knowledge:Local category.

It does go hand in hand with Gather Information, though. My
chainfighter Rogue/Thug has close to max ranks in each.

- Ron ^*^
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:08:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

In article <1118609751.006880.115290@z14g2000cwz.googlegroups.com>,
i.hate.spam@hotmail.com says...

> I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
> answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>
> Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc better
> than common knowledge for every single area in the gameworld...every
> village, every town, every city...just for 1 point?

More or less, yes.

> If so, that's quite a deal.

Is it? One skill point gets you +1 (if it's a class skill). It's not
that much.

And if you take more ranks... will they be more useful than ranks in
spot, tumble, use magic device?

> Seems like a pc should have to spend a point for each different
> area. Am I misreading the skill description?

Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting limits knowledge (local) by area. So,
for example, you can have knowledge (local--Silverymoon), knowledge
(local--Cormyr)...

But I like the default system (one knowledge (local) skill) better. It's
too easy for the skill to become irrelevant if you break it up by area,
considering how much distance D&D characters can travel, if they
need/want to.

You can think of it as not so much knowledge of one particular
place/area, but general knowledge of local info for all sorts of places
(the skill decription talks about legends, personalities, inhabitants,
laws, customs, traditions). Someone with ranks in knowledge (local) will
know that you never enter a house with your hat on in the Silver
Mountains and that it's punishable by fining to beat dogs on the Far
Coast not because he knows Silver Mountains or the Far Coast, but
because he knows customs and laws.


--
Jasin Zujovic
jzujovic@inet.hr
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:08:03 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Jasin Zujovic <jzujovic@inet.hr> wrote in
news:MPG.1d16d09bdd62e71f9896c6@news.iskon.hr:

> Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting limits knowledge (local) by area.
> So, for example, you can have knowledge (local--Silverymoon),
> knowledge (local--Cormyr)...
>
> But I like the default system (one knowledge (local) skill) better.
> It's too easy for the skill to become irrelevant if you break it up by
> area, considering how much distance D&D characters can travel, if they
> need/want to.

In Living Greyhawk, they break up Knowledge (local) by metaregions.
A typical adventurer only needs to put points into two metaregions:
Core (which is used for Core modules) and whatever metaregion his
home region is in. For instance, Nyrond, the Pale, the Duchy of Urnst
and the County of Urnst are all part of the Nyrond metaregion. If a
character only plays Core modules, it's even simpler: he just takes
Knowledge (local: Core) and he's set. Same deal with those who only
play regional/metaregional modules.

DCs for Knowledge (local) checks are usually pretty low in Living
Greyhawk, so even with only a few ranks, you have a decent chance
of getting some info.

-Ben Adams
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:32:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
> I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
> answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>
> Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc
> better than common knowledge for every single area in the
> gameworld...every village, every town, every city...just for 1 point?
> If so, that's quite a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a
> point for each different area. Am I misreading the skill description?

I think it's just poorly named. I like to think of it as "Knowledge
(gossip)", or "Knowledge (current events)". Basically, whereas other
Knowledge skills might be visualised as people learning and memorising books
from particular categories in the library, the character who takes ranks in
this skill is one who keeps up with all the newspapers, has an ear for
general gossip (as opposed to specific gossip, which Gather Information
covers), and just tends to quickly get a good feel for the local area
wherever he goes.

--
Mark.
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:32:20 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Mark Blunden wrote:
> i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
>
>>I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
>>answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>>
>>Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc
>>better than common knowledge for every single area in the
>>gameworld...every village, every town, every city...just for 1 point?
>>If so, that's quite a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a
>>point for each different area. Am I misreading the skill description?
>
>
> I think it's just poorly named. I like to think of it as "Knowledge
> (gossip)", or "Knowledge (current events)". Basically, whereas other
> Knowledge skills might be visualised as people learning and memorising books
> from particular categories in the library, the character who takes ranks in
> this skill is one who keeps up with all the newspapers, has an ear for
> general gossip (as opposed to specific gossip, which Gather Information
> covers), and just tends to quickly get a good feel for the local area
> wherever he goes.

Good point. It's worth noting that this is the one knowledge skill
available to rogues.

- Ron ^*^
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:35:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
> I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
> answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>
> Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc better
> than common knowledge for every single area in the gameworld...every
> village, every town, every city...just for 1 point? If so, that's quite
> a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a point for each different
> area. Am I misreading the skill description?

A problem in D&D3 (and to a lesser extent also in other RPG
systems) is that knowledge skills (and also, to a lesser
extent, other types of skills) must not be dilluted too much.

D&D 3.0 was open-ended about the Knowledge category of
skills, so that GMs (and, probably worse, third-party
supplement publishers) could add new Knowledge skills.

D&D 3.5 made the *very* wise decision of defining a rigid
list of Knowledge skill categories, covering (presumably)
*everything*. Such rigidity is extremely comfortable from
the players' point of view.

GURPS 4th Edition seems to me to have gone in the wrong
direction, by messing up the History skill in that one must
now take mandatory specializations, so that in order to
create a character with a general knowledge of history, one
must purchase the History skill something like six or ten
times each time with a different specialization, in order to
cover everything.

You should not go in that direction. Your job is to
entertain your players, not screw them.


(Another debate entirely, and off-topic in here, is why some
systems have Knowledge skills (e.g. D&D3 and Decipher's LOTR
and Hero System), whereas other systems such as GURPs and my
own Sagatafl, avoid them like the plague, and make do with
specific skills like History, Zoology and Magic Theory
instead. One might guess fear of open-endedness, on behalf
of the plauyers, but I'm not sure).

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 4:35:59 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

"Peter Knutsen (usenet)" <peter@sagatafl.invalid> wrote in message
news:42acb882$0$67257$157c6196@dreader2.cybercity.dk...
>
> i.hate.spam@hotmail.com wrote:
>> I have only the PHB, so bear with me if this question has already been
>> answered in another source. Thanks for the feedback...
>>
>> Will spending 1 point to buy Knowledge(Local) actually give a pc better
>> than common knowledge for every single area in the gameworld...every
>> village, every town, every city...just for 1 point? If so, that's quite
>> a deal. Seems like a pc should have to spend a point for each different
>> area. Am I misreading the skill description?
>
> A problem in D&D3 (and to a lesser extent also in other RPG systems) is
> that knowledge skills (and also, to a lesser extent, other types of
> skills) must not be dilluted too much.
>
> D&D 3.0 was open-ended about the Knowledge category of skills, so that GMs
> (and, probably worse, third-party supplement publishers) could add new
> Knowledge skills.
>
> D&D 3.5 made the *very* wise decision of defining a rigid list of
> Knowledge skill categories, covering (presumably) *everything*. Such
> rigidity is extremely comfortable from the players' point of view.
>
> GURPS 4th Edition seems to me to have gone in the wrong direction, by
> messing up the History skill in that one must now take mandatory
> specializations, so that in order to create a character with a general
> knowledge of history, one must purchase the History skill something like
> six or ten times each time with a different specialization, in order to
> cover everything.
>
> You should not go in that direction. Your job is to entertain your
> players, not screw them.
>
>
> (Another debate entirely, and off-topic in here, is why some systems have
> Knowledge skills (e.g. D&D3 and Decipher's LOTR and Hero System), whereas
> other systems such as GURPs and my own Sagatafl, avoid them like the
> plague, and make do with specific skills like History, Zoology and Magic
> Theory instead. One might guess fear of open-endedness, on behalf of the
> plauyers, but I'm not sure).

Shadowrun 3.0 handles it differently: Active skills you use points from the
priority chart at char-gen. While Passive (Knowledge) skills are base on a
multiplier of the char's INT. And there's no limit to what your Knowledge
Skills can be, pretty much flavor, practical or a mix of the two. It was
actually kinda funny to see one of my players come in with a Troll Sammy
with a knowledge skill of Elven Orchestra Composers.
The only part of this that makes a headache for me is somehow working the
use of some of these Knowledge skills into practical gameplay. One thing
for a PC to have a K.S. in Explosives or Heavy Machine Guns(meaning he knows
the theories and physics behind it) versus aforementioned Elven O.C.
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 4:19:58 AM

Archived from groups: rec.games.frp.dnd (More info?)

Jerry Chesko wrote:
[...]
> Shadowrun 3.0 handles it differently: Active skills you use points from the
> priority chart at char-gen. While Passive (Knowledge) skills are base on a
> multiplier of the char's INT. And there's no limit to what your Knowledge
> Skills can be, pretty much flavor, practical or a mix of the two. It was
> actually kinda funny to see one of my players come in with a Troll Sammy
> with a knowledge skill of Elven Orchestra Composers.
> The only part of this that makes a headache for me is somehow working the
> use of some of these Knowledge skills into practical gameplay. One thing
> for a PC to have a K.S. in Explosives or Heavy Machine Guns(meaning he knows
> the theories and physics behind it) versus aforementioned Elven O.C.

Decipher's LOTR RPG uses a similar mechanic. Characters get
a free number of skill points, derived from the Wits
"ability score", which must be used on knowledge skills.

--
Peter Knutsen
sagatafl.org
!