5E 5e Skills whats your opinion

Kite474

Villager
The problem thought is tools are so niche that it requires way to much effort to make them useful. Hell, ive seen "Pilot Land Vehicles" ONCE!

Right now tools have the "This looks like a job for aquaman problem" so niche that they are useless 98% of the time. So of course players are not going to use them much. Add that the fact that the skill system is so free form you can basically :):):):):):):):) an excuse to roll a skill rather than a tool.

EDIT: Whoops for got to quote Aaron.

As for Chris, I mainly have come to this realization due to either the variety of spells that can circumvent tools. Theirs also the whole "This looks like a job for aquaman problem" so niche its not worth bothering. Add the fact that the crafting rules are so up to the DM its not really worth bothering unless your DM fully comes clean on just what is the furthest extent you can use of tools. For Herbalism Kit's the game by treasure tables give you so much gold its not really needed to make your own potions. Gaming Sets are for only fluff. Musical instruments in theory are supposed to be used by themselves. In practice Ive noticed that very often Preform is used instead. Same with Navigators tools and survival/perception. Only real winners are Thieves Tools and Poisoners Kit

I will concede one thing though. That its heart this is essentially due to clashes I myself have with 5e itself and the fact its a system designed to be a springboard and not a engine to be run. So I'll definitely say that this may be heavily due to taste .
 
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The problem thought is tools are so niche that it requires way to much effort to make them useful. Hell, ive seen "Pilot Land Vehicles" ONCE!
And a campaign exists in which the vehicles (land) tool proficiency, even if not often rolled, is in constant usage.

Something being the right tool for a job that only comes up in certain circumstances isn't a "useless tool" it's a tool with a clear use that simply isn't being utilized.

Add that the fact that the skill system is so free form you can basically :):):):):):):):) an excuse to roll a skill rather than a tool.
That is not a fact.
 

ChrisCarlson

Villager
[MENTION=6803572]Kite474[/MENTION],

Perhaps a few examples of how you perceive being able to bypass tool proficiency with a skill check will help me understand? And/or a few examples of which tools you feel are the most "useless"? I'm curious.
 

Kite474

Villager
And a campaign exists in which the vehicles (land) tool proficiency, even if not often rolled, is in constant usage.

Something being the right tool for a job that only comes up in certain circumstances isn't a "useless tool" it's a tool with a clear use that simply isn't being utilized.

That is not a fact.
1. On some level I agree but again if it's THAT niche dose it really need to be in 5e? The game where essentially the DM is the one to fill in the gaps.

2. I disagree due to the fact that if the skill system was to be supported in a way that was absolutely concrete it would be designed as such. As of now its really fast and loose. So if your charismatic or convincing enough you feasibly use a skill check in place of a tool. Or for a variety of other off the wall things

[MENTION=6803572]Kite474[/MENTION],


Perhaps a few examples of how you perceive being able to bypass tool proficiency with a skill check will help me understand? And/or a few examples of which tools you feel are the most "useless"? I'm curious.

Sure thing!

Lets start form the top.

Crafting Tools: A few players I have met and have seen done so via compounded skill checks. For example I have made a clock using a combination of slight of hands/dex checks and intelligence. This is one of the few times we have really used crafting, because as I said unless you know everything the DM is willing to allow it can be verywell worthless to take

Disguise Kit: Combo of either spells or decpetion. Or really really good deception checks.

Forgery: Ill admit we have not done enough political campaigns to really used this, but it did come up once... We used a deception check and an Investigation check. Depending on your DM you could probably just use 1 of those skills

Gaming Set: Pure Fluff

Herbalist Kit: NOT USELESS!.... Early on. Later you tend to get enough gold you dont need to bother

Musical Instruments: In my experience most players and DM's elect to just let the user roll preform

Navigators Tools: This is one that depends much more on your GM, but we used survival and perception for this

Poisoners: NOT USELESS!.... Poison could be clearer though.

Thieves Tools: NOT USELESS!... However I have seen instances of sleight of hand abuse

Land Vehicles: Animal Handling

Sea Vehicles: NOT USELESS!.... kind of either. Survival was used once or twice.

And their we are. I must say its actually been a pleasure typing this all out. It's fun to be more active on the forums. Thank you both kindly and I mean that sincerely :)
 
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1. On some level I agree but again if it's THAT niche dose it really need to be in 5e? The game where essentially the DM is the one to fill in the gaps.
That's the point, though - if we remove what you think is "THAT niche" and leave what I think is "THAT niche", we reach a game that fits you but doesn't fit me. If we leave what I find niche and keep what you find niche, the game fits me but not you.

If, however, we leave all these things which are in fact equally niche (not equal to every group, mind you, but equal in that across all the groups out there some of them value and use each of the various things).

2. I disagree due to the fact that if the skill system was to be supported in a way that was absolutely concrete it would be designed as such. As of now its really fast and loose. So if your charismatic or convincing enough you feasibly use a skill check in place of a tool. Or for a variety of other off the wall things
Not all DMs let how charismatic and convincing a player can be in saying "I can build a clock with Sleight of Hand" affect that the agreed upon rules don't list knowledge of clockwork as something that has anything to do with Sleight of Hand.

And, all of your examples of how a DM might let a player use a skill instead of a tool proficiency prove exactly what I said earlier: Only as useless as a group chooses for them to be.
 

Kite474

Villager
That's the point, though - if we remove what you think is "THAT niche" and leave what I think is "THAT niche", we reach a game that fits you but doesn't fit me. If we leave what I find niche and keep what you find niche, the game fits me but not you.

If, however, we leave all these things which are in fact equally niche (not equal to every group, mind you, but equal in that across all the groups out there some of them value and use each of the various things).

Not all DMs let how charismatic and convincing a player can be in saying "I can build a clock with Sleight of Hand" affect that the agreed upon rules don't list knowledge of clockwork as something that has anything to do with Sleight of Hand.

And, all of your examples of how a DM might let a player use a skill instead of a tool proficiency prove exactly what I said earlier: Only as useless as a group chooses for them to be.
Fair enough. I think we are at an impasse and instead of filling of the forum with back and forths. I think it may be best we stop here and agree to disagree. 5e's a weird game and alot of people see it differently. I see it as something that really wants to be fate but isn't quite there. You see as something to hearken back to the days of 2e. Both equally valid opinions.

Its been a pleasure talking with you sir/mam. Ill see you around :)
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
[MENTION=6803572]Kite474[/MENTION]: In games you run or in which you play, do players ask to make ability checks? Or do they state what they want to do in fictional terms and the DM calls for a check of some kind (if necessary)?
 

psychophipps

Villager
In the HotDQ campaign I had used blacksmithing a few times as well as Land Vehicles. Wagons get beat on and they need repairs.
The issue, as I see it, is that the DMs in question simply aren't trying hard enough. To be frank, a character sheet pretty much tells the DM exactly what the player wants to see in the game. Players (with a few notable exceptions) won't take skills or tools they don't want to use in the game.
Jewelers tools? Saves you the time of having to take your non-coin loot to be appraised and opens up great RPing opportunities.
Navigators tools? Hate to knock around the ocean without them rather than splashing around a bit close to shore.
Forgery tools? Great way to get an "in" to the evil counts castle if a local noble comes by. Travel papers in restrictive regimes? Yes, please!
Cartographers tools? Every excuse in the world to be knocking around just about anywhere making maps and coin from people buying your maps.
Scribes tools? Professional writers, pen artists, and poets are in high demand in lands were books are 25gp a piece, yo?
 

Kite474

Villager
[MENTION=6803572]Kite474[/MENTION]: In games you run or in which you play, do players ask to make ability checks? Or do they state what they want to do in fictional terms and the DM calls for a check of some kind (if necessary)?
The later. Though sometimes players may ask "Can I accomplish X with Y? ".
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
The later. Though sometimes players may ask "Can I accomplish X with Y? ".
It hasn't been my experience that people that play this way find the ability check system to be inadequate. Those that tend to ask to make ability checks, however, often seem to find fault in the system as written (thought not everyone does, naturally). It does seem like the DMs under which you play are subject to pressure from the players to allow skills to apply to ability checks that I find inapplicable. I certainly wouldn't go in for Sleight of Hand applying to building a clock, for example. Perhaps this aspect is what informs your opinion.
 
I see it as something that really wants to be fate but isn't quite there. You see as something to hearken back to the days of 2e. Both equally valid opinions.
Aside from the tacked-on-feeling system of Personality & Inspiration, what about 5e is at all suggestive of FATE? I mean, I see how that one sub-system is a bit like Aspects & Fate Points, but that's it.
 

Kite474

Villager
Aside from the tacked-on-feeling system of Personality & Inspiration, what about 5e is at all suggestive of FATE? I mean, I see how that one sub-system is a bit like Aspects & Fate Points, but that's it.
The general flow of "Let the GM/DM figure it out" is what at least to me feels like fate. It always feels like outside of combat, which is actually covered very well, 5e just feels like it just wants to be free form which FATE isnt by its nature but its often compared to be 2 steps away. So I will apologize to FATE fans by essentially using its stereotype
[MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION]
Maybe your right. On the scale of Entertainer - Technician he definitely leans to the former. If it helps you paint the picture we decided on Slight of Hand was because we figured it worked with the idea of steady hands needed to handle small cogs.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
[MENTION=97077]iserith[/MENTION]
Maybe your right. On the scale of Entertainer - Technician he definitely leans to the former. If it helps you paint the picture we decided on Slight of Hand was because we figured it worked with the idea of steady hands needed to handle small cogs.
I guess I'd be somewhere in the middle of that scale. For the clock, presuming I found the outcome of the fictional action uncertain, I would probably call for a Dexterity check. If the player then asked if his or her Tinker's Tools proficiency applied, I would say that it did. But Sleight of Hand would not.

Does your DM call for a check for just about every fictional action taken that sounds like an ability check could apply or does he or she balance ruling outright success (or failure) with calling for ability checks?
 

Kite474

Villager
I guess I'd be somewhere in the middle of that scale. For the clock, presuming I found the outcome of the fictional action uncertain, I would probably call for a Dexterity check. If the player then asked if his or her Tinker's Tools proficiency applied, I would say that it did. But Sleight of Hand would not.


Does your DM call for a check for just about every fictional action taken that sounds like an ability check could apply or does he or she balance ruling outright success (or failure) with calling for ability checks?


If it sounds like it could use a check it will have a check...... Honestly it gets pretty grating especially since hes big on the whole "If you role a 1 something deadly and/or stupid happens" shtick. One of my tablemates actually named this phenomenon "Adventurers Going Grocery Shopping"
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
If it sounds like it could use a check it will have a check...
So like if you tell a lie to an NPC, it will always be a Charisma (Deception) check. Or if you do anything acrobatic, it will always be a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check?

Honestly it gets pretty grating especially since hes big on the whole "If you role a 1 something deadly and/or stupid happens" shtick.
Yikes!
 

Kite474

Villager
So like if you tell a lie to an NPC, it will always be a Charisma (Deception) check. Or if you do anything acrobatic, it will always be a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check?
Yes. Unless you can sufficiently convince him otherwise. Sometimes this is simple, other times it is not.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Yes. Unless you can sufficiently convince him otherwise. Sometimes this is simple, other times it is not.
Yeah, makes sense. I've seen that kind of approach before in play and probably did a fair amount of it myself at one point.

Thanks for indulging my questions!
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
The DM and player in me agrees with you, so most of me. I have a small vein of simulationist in me that dislikes that someone can't be "a little good" in something. The only point of that in 3E was fishing for synergy bonuses, which were pretty cool. But half ranks in spot/listen didn't help you notice the assassin hide/movesilently upon you past the very early levels.
If I had a player who wanted to be "a little good" at something in 5e, I'd let her split a single proficiency into two half-proficiencies (getting half the usual proficiency modifier to each of those two skills).

I'm also willing to be accommodating in other regards to players who want to create interesting characters. If your character is proficient in athletics, but you don't want the character to be able to swim, that's cool. I might even give you a kind of specialization in one other aspect of the skill (perhaps the ability to get advantage on a non-swimming use of that skill once per day), or I might award inspiration to your character when a swimming challenge comes up. Likewise, if a player wants her character to be hard of hearing but is trained in perception.
 

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