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D&D 3E
So i'm playing a barbarian (tweaked since i last posted his raw… 
18th-Mar-2005 09:16 am
venga bus
So i'm playing a barbarian (tweaked since i last posted his raw numbers. Gave him a heavy flail because i noticed greataxes can't make tripa ttacks, haha) this saturday, and i was mulling over his skills. I'm trying decidedly not to power game outside of combat, so i decided to have fun with his skills.i gave him a rank in profession(sculptor) and appraise due to his terran acestry. He's a really bad sculptor, but it's his passion. To supplement his income, he's been using his raw phsyical skills as a layman in a local quarry where he can siphon off spare rocks for his sculptures.

This got me to thinking... what the hell use is there for profession? seriously? Ok, in a forgotten realms campaign with a major economy, i can see the use, that's why i'm taking it (besides flavor).

Anyone here ever had profession skills play a major role in anything?
Comments 
18th-Mar-2005 02:19 pm (UTC) - My rogue
Has ranks in Profession: Merchant in my friends Dark Sun game. His goal in life is to make as much money as possible, and it (and his huge Bluff/Diplomacy/Sense Motive bonuses) helps him get the best deals on all sorts of items and eq in the shops.
18th-Mar-2005 02:27 pm (UTC)
I'm in a similar situation with a half-elf ranger I've been playing for over a year. He loves to paint, but it doesn't really come up much in-game. He's gotten quite good over time (+10 to Craft-Painting), but I probably have to do a better job clueing the DM into wanting that to be part of my character's "story".

I've usually seen Profession used as a down-time tool, as in a character can earn extra money working at some profession while the group cools off between adventures.
18th-Mar-2005 02:48 pm (UTC)
See, this is what i am afraid of. I haven't been this into a character since about 2 years ago with my psychic warrior (who actually became incredibly interesting). I just hope it come up now and then. I figure if i'm an artist i can be called in to do a sculpture for some vain wizard and thus gain entrance to his keep so as to later allow my intrepid band of adventurers access. The possibilities would be certainly endless if i work with my rogue/sorc partner who's got a high bluff and diplomacy for getting me into places. Oh man, now i'm coming up with all kinds of ideas, dang. Thanks for the inspiration!
18th-Mar-2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
Profession: Sailor just might save your life someday.
18th-Mar-2005 02:45 pm (UTC)
Not to be a complete dork, by damn right, vulpix. Ninetails 0wnz
18th-Mar-2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
Profession is the skill a character will use to make money once they retire from adventuring.
18th-Mar-2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
Bah.

I find profession to be nigh-useless. Other than simplifying the question of 'how much do I make while the wizard crafts me my new armor', it servers no purpose.

Almost every Profession skill is (IMO) better replaced with a related craft, perform, knowledge or similar skill. Profession(scupltor) is really a combination of Craft(sculpt) and some ranks in bluff, negotiate or appraise. Prof(Sailor) is more Swim, Knowledge(geography and navigation), balance and rope use. Etc. etc. etc. And it isn't like the Professsion skill is a short cut; if you want to related job, you need the underlying skills anyways.

Games I run are without the Profession skill. At least until someone can give me a better reason that currently provided.
18th-Mar-2005 06:09 pm (UTC) - Dissagree
Knowledge is gained through academia and book learning.
Craft is literally building something
Perform is self-explanitory.
Profession is knowledge and skills gained through experiance.

Example: Sailor.
If you learned how to swim, keep good balance, tie knots, etc. as a boy through books and perhaps a mentor. hat would be the skills. If you picked up profession sailor you were raised on a ship. There would be a synergy between these skills....amnd there should be.
18th-Mar-2005 06:22 pm (UTC) - Re: Dissagree
Example: Sailor.
If you learned how to swim, keep good balance, tie knots, etc. as a boy through books and perhaps a mentor. hat would be the skills. If you picked up profession sailor you were raised on a ship. There would be a synergy between these skills....amnd there should be.


But what does the skill give you?

Are you saying that because you have the Profession skill, you can skill synergies between Balance, Use Rope, and Swim? Or that the Prof(sailor) gives you those synergies? If the later, when would you ever get more than 5 ranks in Prof(sailor). If the former, how many ranks in Prof do you need for the synergies?

When would you roll Profession(Sailor) Check? Other than in down-time, to make trivial amounts of money? How does it have a practical affect on the game session?

Or should Profession be like Speak Language; if you have it, you can do something (like get the above mentioned synergies). But that could be easily broken by min-max players.

Or does it give a circumstance bonus to your character for in-profession activities? But this should be covered bya good GM giving a circumstance bonus for a character's background. For instance, my skill points and character story says I grew up near the sea and sailed a lot. Why isn't that sufficient for the circumstance bonus?


In order for me to want to spend skill points on a Profession, there needs to be a tangible benefit for my character.

Every other skill represents an ability or action that the Character can do, or is better at, than other characters. Profession doesn't.
18th-Mar-2005 06:31 pm (UTC) - Re: Dissagree
besides making money (which for your average dungeon delving adevnturers isn't much....) There are things it can do. As an example my friend took Profession Gypsy (as he hung around gypsies for about 6 or 7 years). He has used it as such:

Gambling
fortune telling
dancing
some obscure knowledge rolls that he may not be able to take otherwise (situation dependent).

Its a little more vague, but its meant to covor those things that the other skills don't. Yes he could have taken "perform dancing", "Perform fortune telling", "knowledge local" & lots of ranks in bluff etc. He has some of thsoe anyway, but as a whole to represent his time with the gypsies its just a blanket "much easier" covering with Profession gypsy. Also if he realizes something he should be able to do from his time with them...he may be able to do it.

Its probably not as useful as some other skills. But what about herbalist? The ability to dig up and take care of herbs? Thats great for any mage/cleric.
18th-Mar-2005 07:52 pm (UTC) - Re: Dissagree
Profession: Sailor lets you SAIL A SHIP. Balance, Climb, Craft: Sewing, and Use Rope are critical skills for any self-respecting Jack Tar (Swim is actually rare for sailors), but none of those skills lets you make a ship work. With Profession: Sailor you can:

Eke every knot of speed out of a vessel to avoid pursuit / catch the bad guys.
Navigate a vessel through dangerous waters.
Read a map and plot a course.
Identify a seaworthy ship.
Maneuver a vessel for maximum advantage in combat.
Weather a storm and reach your destination alive despite inclement weather.

Those are off the top of my head, and granted they're all things that might never come up in a given campaign, but that's true for almost any skill.

All Profession skills are not created equal, I'll admit. I'm having a tough time seeing a use for Profession: Barmaid, or anything like that. But I do think that there is an important distinction between Craft / Knowledge / Profession.

Specifically: Craft lets you make something. Knowledge lets you know something. Profession lets you DO something. How valuable the skill is depends on you and your GM.
19th-Mar-2005 09:40 am (UTC) - Re: Dissagree
I ran a pirate game where Profession (sailor) was an essential skill for everyone. If you couldn't make your check, you couldn't contribute to making the ship go. I used this for all different jobs around the ship and let the PCs use other skills like Use Rope and Intimidate when necessary.
18th-Mar-2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think profession is almost totally worthless; I even advise my players against taking any ranks in it. It would be nice if it did something, but in general game use it's worthless.
18th-Mar-2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
I often have my characters take a rank or two in profession something to reflect their backstory.

My Hexblade was thrown out of his family for "giving everybody the evil eye" and wound up working as a teamster and thus took profession teamster. The DM actually had my character get a little extra money when we signed on as caravan guards since I could be useful as something other than a guard.

My wizard had ranks in profession slaver. He started out as a slave and was recruited into the ranks of slavers when they saw he was a prodigy of sorts. Sadly they didn't realize he was helping slaves escape and framing other slavers for the lapses in security. It only really came into play once when we were trying to rescue our enslaved blacksmith friend and I got some extra hints from the DM about how the slaves we being dealt with and it came in handy.

All that being said, I don't think I've ever had a character make money from the normal use of the skill.
18th-Mar-2005 03:59 pm (UTC)
Profession and Craft are great backstory items. Back in 1st Ed. you could get this type of thing as a DM random option off a table with a d100 roll. My wife and I were in Yuma, AZ (winter home of many retirees). We decided to run a couple of older characters, as retirees gone adventuring. They were both Clerics. Backstory was essential. The DM had us roll from the table. My wife’s character got teamster, and my character got jeweler. It was a perfect fit for the concept. We outfitted Sarah and Parry Goric with a Caraven (read modern RV). It was a great role-play, as part time adventurers they would travel and support themselves at markets and fairs, with jewelry and minor healing. In adventures, Parry would wade in and help with the fighting and pull wounded characters out for Grandma Sarah to heal. Pure fun.
18th-Mar-2005 04:44 pm (UTC)
Proffession: soldier might tell you things about the ranks of soldiers and military

sailor: mentioned above

Sculptor: might help you identify certain techniques used in certain items and statuary found. For example, that was done with a machine, while that statue is natural. That statue shouldn't balance like that on it's own..why don't you guys search it... etc.
18th-Mar-2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
Proffession is the same thing as Craft. Either one of them is what you do for a living while you're not adventuring (unless you're a performer, in which case you can use your Perform/Tumble skill for that).

While Craft is where you're making something for somebody, such as Craft (weaponsmithing), Profession is where you'll be doing something or performing some sort of service. Such as Profession (bartender).

Technically, sculptor should fall under Craft, not Profession, but other than that...it's just used during downtime to make a little extra money. If it does, for whatever reason, come up during a game, it's because you have a chance to notice something that's linked to your profession or trade.


I had a character once that had Profession (loansharking). I was a Rogue/Fighter, so it made a lot of sense, and it made me not only a reputation, but a hefty amount of money on a good roll. :P
18th-Mar-2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
My current character has "Proffession: Soldier/Mercenary".

Maybe it'll help me ID local mercenary units, banners for armies, know the low-down on who hires adventurers, etc etc.



~Ray
19th-Mar-2005 09:43 am (UTC)
Sounds like Knowledge(Heraldry) to me
19th-Mar-2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
Skill synergy or something *shrug*



~Ray
20th-Mar-2005 11:23 am (UTC)
You know, when 3e first came out, some friends of mine and I started a whole new game just to get the feel down, and Profession actually came into play a lot. My character, a ranger, happened to also be a raving alcoholic. The DM, being the great guy he is, had an errant fireball torch our favorite bar, leaving me with tons of negatives looming over my head. What to do but use my ranks in Profession: Forester and Profession: Brewer (backstory: once dreamed of opening a microbrewery in a woodcutting town) to get everything together to build a whole new bar/inn, which then became the center for all our adventures and eventually for a town all its own. Best damn skill checks I ever made.
21st-Mar-2005 08:00 pm (UTC) - Profession, Craft, etc...
...usually don't help out in the middle of combat in a cavern, but then, neither do Gather Information or Forgery.

They're sometimes hooks to hang a story (Someone is kidnapping many of the greatest weapon-smiths in the realm, and they took a shot as your rogue with 10 levels in Craaft:Weaponsmithing.) They sometimes help a DM give you clues (Your character runs a tavern / inn, and the Thieves' Guild representative comes around, warning you not to rent a room to a man and a woman, travelling together, probably disguised as elves.) They help you provide a role-playing background for your character. They can be fun.

They are as "useless" as your DM wants.
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