Increasing Skill Ranks

We use a house-rule for how skill rank increases happen. This was started in our previous campaign and was well liked by players and GM.

The basic idea is you gain ranks as you use skills. Each player notes on their character sheet which skills they used during that night’s session. At the end of the session every player will be able to roll a % die to see if they gain a new rank. Players will roll a % die once for each skill used. You do not get 3 rolls for using the same skill 3 times in one session.

Skill rank caps and intelligence bonus:

  • All skill ranks are soft-capped at our character level. This means if you are level 1 the maximum ranks you can have in a skill is also 1.
  • Your intelligence modifier modifies your skill cap. If you have an int modifier of +1, your skill cap is your character level +1. Intelligence penalties cannot modify your skill cap less than your character level.
  • Being a human increases your skill cap by +1. This is supposed to help make the human additional skill ability still mean something. This bonus succeeds any negative modifier you might have to intelligence.


  • Level 1 half-orc with +2 int modifier = max ranks 3
  • Level 1 half-orc with -1 int modifier = max ranks 1
  • Level 1 human with -1 int modifier = max ranks 2

When using a skill during game play, a roll of a natural 20 gets the player an immediate rank increase. Gaining a rank increase in this way can (??) raise a skill above your cap.

The Skill-up DC (%) is determined by the number of ranks you have in a skill and your current character level.

For “class skills”
Current Rank – % chance for skill-up
CL -2 or less – 95
CL -1 – 85
CL +0 – 70
CL +1 – 55
CL +2 – 45
CL +3 – 30
CL +4 – 15
beyond – 5

For “non-class skills”
Current Rank – % chance for skill-up
CL -2 or less – 80
CL -1 – 65
CL +0 – 40
CL +1 – 20
CL +2 – 10
CL +3 – 5
CL +4 – 5
beyond – 5

Increasing Skill Ranks

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