D20 Skill Check Assistance

One of the things that comes up often in my D&D 3.5 and now Pathfinder games is players wanting to assist each other with skill checks and while these systems have a mechanic for that (match a DC to give a plus 2 bonus) it’s pretty bland and doesn’t feel quite right. The solution we’ve moved to is as follows:

The assistant rolls a check of the same skill before the person performing the main check, subtracting ten from the result and halving it ala converting an ability to a modifier. The result is then added to the roll of the person performing the main check.

This has a couple of advantages in that not only can you get a lot of help from someone who is particularly skilled (though the reduction means its still wiser to have the best person perform the main check) but also an unskilled or unlucky person may actually interfere with and disrupt the skill check they are trying to assist on, for instance rolling an assist check of six will actually bestow a minus two penalty to the check at hand.
The only concern I’ve had with this is having to be a little more vigilant in regards to making sure assists aren’t rolled when they don’t make sense.


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