Limiting 'Local' Knowledge

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?
10 answers Last reply
More about limiting local knowledge
  1. 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 ^*^
  2. 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?
  3. 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 ^*^
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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.
  7. 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 ^*^
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
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