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Character advancement: borrowing from 5E for BECMIby paladinn
So, while considering the Ability Score Increase (ASI)/"Feats" model from 5e, I'm thinking 5e almost has it right. I don't think I want the "mega-feats" in 5e; but I'm thinking that every 4 levels I could either allow
a. a +1 to any stat
b. a +1 skill increase to any two skills
c. a +1 to any one weapon skill
If I do this right, it could solve and/or streamline a number of issues:
a. the availability of "skills" to anyone while maintaining the supremacy of Rogues/Thieves when it comes to skills
b. the ability to learn a weapon that is not on your class' list, while never allowing a non-fighter to become as "good" as a mainline fighter
c. allowing fighters and thieves a means of advancement without wonky bolt-on mechanics and new "feats" every level
d. giving thieves a means of more custom advancement ala 2e
All characters start with Common proficiency in most everything. Fighters (including future paladins and rangers) start with Basic proficiency in all weapons and their set of skills. I would allow them to choose One weapon with which to have Expert proficiency, kind of like the "fighting style" but more extensible. Rogues would start with Basic proficiency in their set of weapons and skills, and would be able to select two of their skills with which to have Expert proficiency.
Every 4th level, all characters can pick an advancement option as mentioned above. No character can have a proficiency of more that +3 (Master level). For weapons and most "thief" skills, only base fighters and thieves can have Expert or Master proficiency.
Elves start with Basic proficiency with swords and bows, and dwarves with axes, because of their heritage. Wizards start with Common proficiency with most everything expect maybe daggers and staves. If Gandalf wants to swing a sword, he can spend an ASI/advancement to get Basic proficiency.
I think this opens up a lot of possibilities without adding too much to the complexity of a (hopefully still) OSR-level game.
Just to recap, I'm thinking to co-opt the 5e idea of an "advancement" every 4 levels or so. A player would be able to choose from one of several options:
1. a +1 increase to one stat
2. a +1 increase to one proficient weapon (Basic -> Expert -> Master skill)
3. Basic proficiency in one Not proficient weapon (Basic skill)
4. The same proficiency/increase for two skills
While I don't want to open the door to the feat-bloat, but I would like to include things like 2-weapon fighting and blind fighting as weapon skills. I would also like to include the BECMI "combat options" like Smash and Disarm, as well as Cleave. Maybe some archery skills. Given that characters would only get 4-5 ASI's (maybe 1-2 more for core fighters), I don't think it could get out of hand.