House rules

Professions skill

The current d20 profession system doesn't work. All characters are hard pressed to get the most out of their skill points in order to survive encounters. And so non-encounter skills such as profession, craft and decipher script very often loose out. Then, when it comes to throwing together a proper onion and mutton stew, the super spotters and expert lock openers just look at each other stupidly and pull out their iron rations. Wouldn't it be more fun if a character could maintain an image as a brewer or an artist or a beggar, without spending those precious skill points?

Supposing it would: Each player may select a single profession for his character that fits into his background story. We assume that the character spends a chunk of his spare time practicing the various skills and tricks involved, and also role-plays on this when the occasion arises.

A character with a chosen profession receives a free skill rank at each level. Thus a first level character will have one rank, and a 22nd level character will have 22 ranks in this profession. This skill can be maxed out by spending an extra 3 skill points, thus reaching max for hi level (level+3 ranks).

This profession skill is used to resolve the outcome of tasks, labour or general livelyhood that typically take a week or more to accomplish. E.g. for a cook, such a check would not resolve how a specific meal turned out, but how well he performed during a longer time frame at all cooking related tasks, such as preparing game, usage of herbs as spice, food preservation, kitchen multi-tasking, keeping the larder is well stocked, and so on.

If a character at some point decides to focus on other activities in life, simply keep all ranks in the previous profession, and choose a new profession to which future free skill ranks will be assigned. As any other change in a character, jumping to a new profession should be done for a good in-game reason, not just a munchkin whim :-)

Also, the player chooses one of the associated skills, and gains a +2 competence bonus on all checks.

Suggested professions and associated skills

brewercraft cooking
carpentercraft carpentry
clerkknowledge local
cookcraft cooking
herderhandle animal/survival
minerknowledge dungeoneering
mysticknowledge planes/arcana/religion
prostitueknowledge local/hide
scribedecipher script/knowledge local
artistcraft art
smithcraft smith
stablehandhandle animal
teamsterhandle animal
thiefsearch/open locks