Perception

Open Discussion on all things C&C from new product to general questions to the rules, the laws, and the chaos.
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Perception

Post by rabindranath72 »

I was thinking of late that I do not like that perception-based checks (like listen, or surprise) depend on wisdom. It just does not seem right that a cleric can be better than a rogue or ranger if these do not choose wisdom as prime.

So, I thought, why not "going back" to the (A)D&D system? This could easily be made to work with C&C.

So, basically, a perception check is not based on any stat (much like a SR check), and the CB is always 18. This can be modified by racial attributes (like for elves, who add +2 due to their keen senses) or class characteristics (like rogues or ranger who add their level).

The CB 18 nicely approximates the "1 in d6" of classic D&D, the chance humans have of hearing noises.

The same would be for surprise checks.

So, what do you think?

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Post by Matthew »

Consider making it the average of Intelligence/Wisdom or using one or the other in preference.
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Post by CharlieRock »

i like it. but the CL should be variable. not just an 18 but really anything to reflect the situation. hear a tiger, cl20. hear an orc in armor and drunk, cl 14 (or less).
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Post by rabindranath72 »

CharlieRock wrote:
i like it. but the CL should be variable. not just an 18 but really anything to reflect the situation. hear a tiger, cl20. hear an orc in armor and drunk, cl 14 (or less).

Well, I only suggested a CB. The CL is always at the CK's discretion. CL 20 seems a bit high! Or did you mean CC?

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Post by serleran »

I treat such things like SR, in a sense. I pick a number, you roll, add your relevant modifiers, and see if you equal or exceed. For example, it is generally a flat difficulty of 12 to avoid surprise; rogues and rangers get a +2. Some creatures and situations penalize this.

When it comes to hearing, I do a base difficulty from the distance of the sound, with interfering barriers modifying it. For example, hearing a softly spoken conversation 300 yards away would be a difficulty 18 (base of 12 + 1 / 100 yards [or meters] + 3 for softly spoken), assuming nothing is in the way; rogues get a +6 to this.

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Post by Treebore »

When I used "perception" back in my 1E and 2E days I used to have it rolled on a d30 and the only add was the average of your INT and WIS (INT+WIS/2). I have been seriously considering going back to that. At least having the "perception" skill derived from the INT and WIS, and having it covering all types of "noticing" things. IE listen, spot, search, and even figure things out by putting bits of info together. Figuring out if they are being lied to, etc...
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Post by serleran »

Never used it. I prefer to not rely on the system to compensate for player ability.

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Post by Wulfgarn »

Serlan- The use of a Perception stat does not discount or supersede player ability - It is a function of wether a Character Notices sopmething that might or might not be seen- sort of akin to a Listen or Spot check - Not the Sherlock holmes skill of Deduction

At least I think that is what the fellas are taking about-

I like the Idea of a Perception score -

As the rules read now - Becuase Listen is a Class Ability - anyone not possessing it as a Class skill is in serious trouble if they need to hear something

(1d20 plus Stribute mod)

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Post by Wulfgarn »

In fact Perception coule very well be the first of a set of time saving derived Stats- or could be an add on

My game uses Comeliness- It is an ability that cannot be made Prime as it is not used overmuch- but is still Fun

If I added a Perception Score - that would cover the Senses of an indvidual - it makes perfect sense.

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Post by serleran »

Quote:
The use of a Perception stat does not discount or supersede player ability

Yes it does. It gives a reliance on a game mechanic to provide information you, as a player, have not sought. I feel the same way about the presence of listen checks in C&C (and AD&D, and other games with similar systems), though this might be the one exception that makes sense -- it is weird to have a "did I see it?" That's easy: did you look for it? If so, its not "did I see it" but "did I find it?" and that's where things get interesting. That is where the actual playing, where you, the player, have to get active in what your character is doing... and how.

Making it a die roll is convenient, for sure, but it also removes a lot of the game. For me.

I don't like it. But, the good news is: it doesn't matter if I do, or not. If you like it, go for it...

However, I would avoid making "Perception" a replacement for any of the standard 6 attributes. Instead, I would make it a function, like Encumbrance, of the stats. For example, it has an average value of 30- X (maybe combination of Wisdom + Intelligence) + 2 if either is Prime (for +4 total if both are) + other modifiers relevant as they would be normally. Perception is not a normal SIEGE check but functions like SR; roll over it, and you succeed.

Example --

Wilbur has an 18 Int and 16 Wisdom. He's an illusionist, and a gnome. His "Perception" is (18+ 16) / 2 = 17 + 2 (Int Prime; we assume he took Dex as the other) = 19. However, illusionists have "enhanced senses" so he gets that when applicable, and gnomes have good hearing, so he gets that when applicable... so, his totals:

30 - 19 = 11; if he rolls over a 11, Wilbur will detect whatever.

30 - 20 = 10 (enhanced sense of +1, let's say); roll over 10 for whatever ES applies toward.

30 - 22 = 8 (great hearing); roll over 8 for Wilbur to hear what's up.

Distance and other situationals always apply so Wilbur will have problems hearing through 20 feet of solid stone, for example.

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Post by dunbruha »

serleran wrote:
Yes it does. It gives a reliance on a game mechanic to provide information you, as a player, have not sought. I feel the same way about the presence of listen checks in C&C (and AD&D, and other games with similar systems), though this might be the one exception that makes sense -- it is weird to have a "did I see it?" That's easy: did you look for it? If so, its not "did I see it" but "did I find it?" and that's where things get interesting. That is where the actual playing, where you, the player, have to get active in what your character is doing... and how.

Making it a die roll is convenient, for sure, but it also removes a lot of the game. For me.

I don't like it.

The above is fine for things that the players would have an expectation to see or hear. But what about an ambush, or noticing a flash of gold along an otherwise unremarkable trail. The players can't keep saying "I look under this bush--do I see anything?" In those cases, a perception check is a good thing. But I don't know what a good way would be to make it. Using any particular Abiity results in unfair advantage to those characters that have it as Prime. Maybe an average of Wis + Int + Dex?

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Post by dunbruha »

serleran wrote:
However, I would avoid making "Perception" a replacement for any of the standard 6 attributes. Instead, I would make it a function, like Encumbrance, of the stats. For example, it has an average value of 30- X (maybe combination of Wisdom + Intelligence) + 2 if either is Prime (for +4 total if both are) + other modifiers relevant as they would be normally. Perception is not a normal SIEGE check but functions like SR; roll over it, and you succeed.

Interesting. This has potential...

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Post by zombiehands »

serleran wrote:
Yes it does. It gives a reliance on a game mechanic to provide information you, as a player, have not sought. I feel the same way about the presence of listen checks in C&C (and AD&D, and other games with similar systems), though this might be the one exception that makes sense -- it is weird to have a "did I see it?" That's easy: did you look for it? If so, its not "did I see it" but "did I find it?" and that's where things get interesting. That is where the actual playing, where you, the player, have to get active in what your character is doing... and how.

.

I understand what you are saying. I remeber back in the day having a PC use powdered chalk, a magnifing glass, and a ten foot pole. They had a standard operating search procedure for everything. I was very fun seeing how inventive the PC coulkd be. But there are problems with having players describe everywhere the look/search/listen.

It could slow an adventure to a crawl if PC described how they searched every piece of furniture in a room. Or you could have a player who simply says "I search everything!"

I don't know but there does seem like there must be some middleground for Roleplaying and Rollplaying
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Post by Treebore »

zombiehands wrote:
I understand what you are saying. I remeber back in the day having a PC use powdered chalk, a magnifing glass, and a ten foot pole. They had a standard operating search procedure for everything. I was very fun seeing how inventive the PC coulkd be. But there are problems with having players describe everywhere the look/search/listen.

It could slow an adventure to a crawl if PC described how they searched every piece of furniture in a room. Or you could have a player who simply says "I search everything!"

I don't know but there does seem like there must be some middleground for Roleplaying and Rollplaying

There is. There are certain things you know they will see, hear, smell, etc... The dice roll is for when it goes beyond what the CK can successfully convey to their players for their players to process.
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Post by Joe »

I dislike the general comment that implies good mechanics are to compensate for poor playing.

In a ballroom full of dancers, perception would be used to notice perhaps a slight exchange of looks amongst people, or a sleight of hand as a scroll is passed during an embrace.

Players are paranoid enough, and spend more than enough time chasing willow wisps to blame them if they do not notice subleties of particular CKs.

Sometimes as DM I have to knock people over the head with blatant hints, while other times theyc chase their own tails just because of how I may have thoughtlessly acted out an npc behavior.

Perception helps the wise or intelliegent characters notice what was important to note and what was just the DM or CK scratching an itch.

Capish?

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Post by serleran »

Quote:
In a ballroom full of dancers, perception would be used to notice perhaps a slight exchange of looks amongst people, or a sleight of hand as a scroll is passed during an embrace.

One can argue that this is the DMs responsibility, assuming it is of any real importance to what is needed. Does the player see the passing of the scroll? Was he even looking in that direction? The player must still actually play... if he says he's checking out the hotties who just entered and something transpired behind his back, why should a roll be merited? Likewise, even if he is looking, is he just looking? Are you sure the character is "checking it out all paranoid-like?" Are the "do-ers" skilled in this sort of thing? Is the character?

Why can't you, as DM, just allow the PC to see what has transpired? What happens if they don't? Arguably, if its not that vital, then you can do anything you want... if it is vital, it might be better to make them sweat, and then succeed. Don't need mechanics for that - just need to do it, though mechanics can if needed.

People often miss the most obvious of things -- that is why stage magic works. If they got a roll for each and every action, rather than being forced to think, they might not be as fooled as easily (yeah, yeah, that assumes the average person has an intelligence, too.)

So, it comes to this, really: why is perception being used? Is it to make the game easier? Or, is it to replace something?

I'm all for making the game easier (or I wouldn't have bothered with a "system" for it)... but, if you're using it to compensate for lack of ability, then I'm absolutely against it.

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Post by gideon_thorne »

dunbruha wrote:
The players can't keep saying "I look under this bush--do I see anything?" In those cases, a perception check is a good thing. But I don't know what a good way would be to make it. Using any particular Abiity results in unfair advantage to those characters that have it as Prime. Maybe an average of Wis + Int + Dex?

But the players can say "My character keeps alert"

And having a prime is supposed to be an advantage. Thats the point! Who said anything about it being fair?
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Post by dunbruha »

gideon_thorne wrote:
And having a prime is supposed to be an advantage. Thats the point! Who said anything about it being fair?

True. I guess "fair" isn't the right word--if you choose a Prime, then you should gain an advantage. But if "spot" or "perception" are tied to a particular Attribute, certain classes automatically are better at noticing things. For example, if Wis is used, then all Clerics and Druids are favored. This doesn't seem right to me. I think Serelan's idea has merit, because it averages Int and Wis. Of course, the best situation is if the player does the noticing.

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Post by gideon_thorne »

dunbruha wrote:
True. I guess "fair" isn't the right word--if you choose a Prime, then you should gain an advantage. But if "spot" or "perception" are tied to a particular Attribute, certain classes automatically are better at noticing things. For example, if Wis is used, then all Clerics and Druids are favored. This doesn't seem right to me. I think Serelan's idea has merit, because it averages Int and Wis. Of course, the best situation is if the player does the noticing.

Whats the trouble then? The wise are often more perceptive. ^_^

Other classes can elect to choose a wisdom prime. This game is about choices and sacrificing one thing for another.
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Post by slimykuotoan »

I really like the idea of perception.

Alternity had Awareness, which was like a combination of certain 'notice/feel' abilities.

Sometimes you want an ability that sums up various senses like listen and spot.

Could perception be a combo of Wis/Int?
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Post by Moorcrys »

I'm for using an attribute for it -- wisdom would be my pick. But you as CK could give certain classes you feel should be naturally more perceptive a boost to perception rolls. That way you don't necessarily push all players to pick Wisdom as a prime stat. I guess the ranger comes to mind.

I would mix it up though... someone noticing something out of the ordinary in the wilderness might be a wisdom check. In an ancient tome it would be intelligence. Or to notice someone is charmed I might use charisma -- "I get a feeling about that guy... something's not right."

However, to weigh in on Serl's side a bit. Most of the time I *want* characters to notice something out of the ordinary and pick the most appropriate character to do so if I think it's likely they would notice it, or I describe something in detail and leave it up to them to notice something odd about it. If an elfin thief in my game is looking for secret doors and tells me so, I'll usually just let them know where one is. It's usually the 'way out of their element' stuff that I'll roll for. I tell them or not depending on their actions. I only consistently use a roll for something that will leave them at combat disadvantage -- more as a surprise roll than a perception roll.
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Post by serleran »

Quote:
Could perception be a combo of Wis/Int?

No. That's exactly why I didn't suggest it, already.

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Post by Treebore »

Moorcrys wrote:
I'm for using an attribute for it -- wisdom would be my pick. But you as CK could give certain classes you feel should be naturally more perceptive a boost to perception rolls. That way you don't necessarily push all players to pick Wisdom as a prime stat. I guess the ranger comes to mind.

I would mix it up though... someone noticing something out of the ordinary in the wilderness might be a wisdom check. In an ancient tome it would be intelligence. Or to notice someone is charmed I might use charisma -- "I get a feeling about that guy... something's not right."

However, to weigh in on Serl's side a bit. Most of the time I *want* characters to notice something out of the ordinary and pick the most appropriate character to do so if I think it's likely they would notice it, or I describe something in detail and leave it up to them to notice something odd about it. If an elfin thief in my game is looking for secret doors and tells me so, I'll usually just let them know where one is. It's usually the 'way out of their element' stuff that I'll roll for. I tell them or not depending on their actions. I only consistently use a roll for something that will leave them at combat disadvantage -- more as a surprise roll than a perception roll.

I believe I did mix it up when I first started using perception, then I got frustrated with how "clunky" it was, so thats when I (maybe one of my players even suggested it) decided to just take the average of INT and WIS and make it work for all such situations. I liked doing it on a D30 and basing it off of just the stat because on a D30 the best anyone would likely ever get is an 18 out of 30 chance (a little over 60%. 65%?). Since I think that even reflected "reality" pretty good I went with it.

DANG! I think I just talked myself into using it again in my C&C. I even like that it takes it "out of" the class and SIEGE system of C&C.
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Post by dunbruha »

gideon_thorne wrote:
Whats the trouble then? The wise are often more perceptive. ^_^

Mentally, true, but not necessarily physically.

The basic problem is that none of the Attributes work for the physical aspects of perception: eagle eyes, sharp hearing, good sense of smell, etc. So I think I am going to use Cha. At least it will make it a more desirable choice.

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Post by zombiehands »

I really don't like the idea of tieing perception to wisdom or intelligence. I am an engineer and know alot of smart and wise people that I would not call perceptive. When I think of someone/thing that is perceptive I am typically think of birds, cats, bears, primatives, archers/sniper. To me it seems more like an attribute to itself. Or maybe DEX.

Classes I see as perceptive would be: thief, assassin, barbarian, ranger, illusionist and maybe a druid.

I have not played C&C much how do you more experinced players think having a seventh attribute?
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Post by gideon_thorne »

dunbruha wrote:
Mentally, true, but not necessarily physically.

The basic problem is that none of the Attributes work for the physical aspects of perception: eagle eyes, sharp hearing, good sense of smell, etc. So I think I am going to use Cha. At least it will make it a more desirable choice.

You need insight to apply all those senses properly.
zombiehands wrote:
Classes I see as perceptive would be: thief, assassin, barbarian, ranger, illusionist and maybe a druid.

Strangely enough, most of that list has a perception class ability requiring wisdom...
We weren't completely daft in designing the whys and wherefores of attribute checks.. it only seems like it.
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Post by Joe »

Quote:
Classes I see as perceptive would be: thief, assassin, barbarian, ranger, illusionist and maybe a druid.

If I were walking thru the streets of Baghdad, or the mountains of Afghanistan I would want a soldier(fighter) with eyes and ears ahead rather than a gangmember (thief/assasin), a treehugger (druid), or David Copperfield (illusionist), so the situation really matters. I doubt if a sportsman hunter (ranger) would know an IED, or a terrorist urban ambush if he saw one, but an experienced veteran of war would.

But you can bet that David Copperfiled would spot a cheesy rabbit hat trick.

So you see we can overthink and try to impose reality on our heroic fantasy games as much as we wish but it really comes down to the question of, does reality have any bearing on our fantasy games and if so how much? Also, how well is our gamer geek opinions based in reality in the first place?

Rather than assume players can read every nuance of my CK style, read my mind, or spot every important reference out of my long narratives, I opt to let the subtle remain subtle, and allow the character a perception check. If the player happens to be more concerned with adding up his min maxes, or picking onions off his pizza, rather than perceive every possible thing I may mean in my descriptions I let his characters wisdom and not the players apply to perception. (No offence to anyone but I have yet to meet a Socrates amongst the modern population)

If it is something that I really want the player to notice then I will over act or hit him over the head as I see fit.

Smart people can ignore the obvious. I just will let Wisdom give the bonus or minus for perception.

My two cents...

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Post by gideon_thorne »

Joe wrote:
If I were walking thru the streets of Baghdad, or the mountains of Afghanistan I would want a soldier(fighter) with eyes and ears ahead rather than a gangmember (thief/assasin), a treehugger (druid), or David Copperfield (illusionist), so the situation really matters. I doubt if a sportsman hunter (ranger) would know an IED, or a terrorist urban ambush if he saw one, but an experienced veteran of war would.

But you can bet that David Copperfiled would spot a cheesy rabbit hat trick.

Then your fighter ought to chose wisdom as one of his primes. As well, the C&C ranger is a lone wilderness scout. Who's concept evolved from the idea of the army ranger (scout, tracker, so forth) throughout history who spent much time away from the main force, often having to be self reliant and aware of his environment. Oh, and who has much superior ability to spot traps and pitfalls that perhaps a less subtle warrior (low wis, non prime, whatever) would miss.
Quote:
So you see we can overthink and try to impose reality on our heroic fantasy games as much as we wish but it really comes down to the question of, does reality have any bearing on our fantasy games and if so how much? Also, how well is our gamer geek opinions based in reality in the first place?

Sure, and by the same token, people can 'overthink' the rules themselves and end up garnering long debates on 'alternate' ways to do things, instead of recognizing that the very simple C&C mechanic works for a lot more than is often noted.
Quote:
Rather than assume players can read every nuance of my CK style, read my mind, or spot every important reference out of my long narratives, I opt to let the subtle remain subtle, and allow the character a perception check. If the player happens to be more concerned with adding up his min maxes, or picking onions off his pizza, rather than perceive every possible thing I may mean in my descriptions I let his characters wisdom and not the players apply to perception. (No offence to anyone but I have yet to meet a Socrates amongst the modern population)

If it is something that I really want the player to notice then I will over act or hit him over the head as I see fit.

Smart people can ignore the obvious. I just will let Wisdom give the bonus or minus for perception.

My two cents...

Sure. Thats a perfectly valid means of going about it.

Die rolls are mainly meant for those situations that promote turning points, or a sense of drama. Its a judgment call that only comes clearly with time and experience. Both that of the game master and the players.

Aside from the rules themselves, there are any number of things an rpg can teach. A sense of the dramatic being one of them.
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Post by zombiehands »

Joe wrote:
If I were walking thru the streets of Baghdad, or the mountains of Afghanistan I would want a soldier(fighter) with eyes and ears ahead rather than a gangmember (thief/assasin), a treehugger (druid), or David Copperfield (illusionist), so the situation really matters. I doubt if a sportsman hunter (ranger) would know an IED, or a terrorist urban ambush if he saw one, but an experienced veteran of war would.

But you can bet that David Copperfiled would spot a cheesy rabbit hat trick.

Yeah but I think that your example is suffering from anology. Everyone in the military is not a fighter class. Army Rangers might be rangers for example. Scouting forces are more likely rogue, snipers perhaps assassin. Clerics -> chaplin. I think I would perfer a sniper or ranger then a regular grunt. Personally I would rather an Iraq gang memeber leading me through the city.

Wisdom is described as "depth of personal experince, the ability to make well considered decisions or judgements, and reprensents a spirtiual connectiion to a deity. ..." I does not included be sharp-eye or other perception based decirptions.

The more I think about it all this could be grouped with intelligence and wisdom just elimated. Clerics could just be shifted to Charisma.
There are two novels that can change a 14-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
John Rogers

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zombiehands
Hlobane Orc
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Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:00 am

Post by zombiehands »

I was just checking the defintion of perception quickly on the web and came up with the following:

Definition:

1. perceiving: the process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation the range of human perception

2. result of perceiving: the result of the process of perception.

3. impression: an attitude or understanding based on what is observed or thought

4. powers of observation: the ability to notice or discern things that escape the notice of most people.

5. psychology neurological process of observation and interpretation: any neurological process of acquiring and mentally interpreting information from the senses

Perception: (Psychological)

In psychology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. The word perception comes from the Latin capere, meaning "to take," the prefix per meaning "completely. ...

Perception (Literary):

Immediate or intuitive cognition or comprehension; a capacity to "see" in light of experience. Our perception including moral, psychological, and/or aesthetic qualities alters of our world according to our understanding, insight, and experience.

Perception (Philosophy)

our awareness of the world and its contents through sensory experience. The analysis of perception and the attempt to deal with skeptical arguments about perceptual knowledge are central philosophical topics. Perception involves both our capacity to be sensorily affected by external objects and our ability to bring these objects under concepts, although other capacities might also have a role to play. What we perceive and how these objects of perception are related to us and to physical objects are matters of continuing concern.

Wisdom

Definition:

1. good sense: the ability to make sensible decisions and judgments based on personal knowledge and experience

2. wise decision: good sense shown in a way of thinking, judgment, or action

3. accumulated learning: accumulated knowledge of life or of a sphere of activity that has been gained through experience.

4. opinion widely held: an opinion that almost everyone seems to share or express.

5. sayings: ancient teachings or sayings.

So if i did drop wisdom for perception I think I would regroup class primes like this

INT: Wizards

PER: Druid, Illusionist

CHR: Knight, Paladin, Bard, Cleric

not sure I like that .... Maybe its intlelligence that should go
There are two novels that can change a 14-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
John Rogers

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