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
|scribe||decipher script/knowledge local|