But, as you know, even original D&D had some skill resolution mechanics, for eample searching for secret doors.
Two great ideas I take away from Ian's post:
Characters have a chance of noticing secret doors without searching
Much the way we just roll when characters walk over a pit trap, we roll as they pass a secret door to see if they notice a breeze etc. Ian suggests this for just the front row of the marching order, and I suppose I understand the distinction (everyone behind is distracted etc.) but it seems too fiddly for little gain to me.
One cool effect of this method is that players may be more likely to stumble upon secret doors without having to search every section of wall (boring). And yet you can still have some mystery if, as Ian suggests, you make noticing a secret door not neccesarily mean you know how to open it.
Make simple skills a dice pool
So, if you are looking for traps/secret doors 6 means success (I roll high), normal characters roll 1d6, Elves roll 2d6, Dwarves roll 2d6 if it involves stonework.
Thieves start out with 2d6 and could get another d6 every three levels.
This could be applied to surprise as well with rangers, for instance, getting more dice as they climb in level.
Instead of increasing the numbers that indicate success you increase the number of dice that might yield success. So, I'm not a math guy but here is what the probabilities seem to work out to:
- roll a 6 on d6= 16.67%
- roll a 5 or 6 on d6= 33.33%
- roll a 6 on 2d6=27.77%
- roll a 6 on 3d6=34.72%