log in or register to remove this ad

 

Blog (A5E) A Quick Look At Skills

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
One of the big survey results was related to more granularity with skills. With that in mind, we are currently developing the O5E (original 5E) skill system into something a little more detailed. Here’s where we are right now, with the caveat that this is very much a peek at work in development and is very subject to change.

Skill List​

The skill list is largely the same. We’ve added two new skills: Engineering, which allows a character to know a fact or advance a project involving building, invention, or mathematics; and Local Knowledge, which encompasses things like streetwise, customs, traditions, and knowing who or where things are.

Skill Checks​

In O5E, you make ability checks. In Level Up, you can also make skill checks.

You can use any ability with any skill as long as it’s appropriate to the task at hand. For example, let’s look at the new skill of Engineering. You might use Intelligence (Engineering) to figure out how a strange machine works; you might use Dexterity (Engineering) to build a tiny device; or you might use Strength (Engineering) to build a wall. As usual, if you are proficient in a skill you get to add your proficiency bonus to the ability check.

Of course, if you aren’t proficient in a relevant skill, you can still try with a flat ability check.

Specialties​

In each skill you might also have a specialty. Just because you are proficient in Athletics doesn’t mean you’re equally good at swimming, climbing, and jumping.

The number of specialties you have is equal to your proficiency modifier — you start with two, and you gain more as you increase in level. You note the specialty next to the skill. Whenever your speciality applies, you gain an expertise die in that check.

You also gain some extra specialties based on your Intelligence modifier.

Each skill has its own list of possible specialties, although these may vary sightly in different game worlds. For example, Acrobatics offers balancing, escape artistry, and tumbling, while Athletics includes climbing, jumping, lifting, running, swimming, and throwing.

Expertise Dice​

You have already seen expertise dice in the Rogue playtest document and elsewhere. An expertise die is an extra d4 you add to an ability check, attack roll, skill check, or saving throw. If you gain more than one expertise die for a particular roll, they don’t stack directly; instead they increase the size of the expertise die from d4 to d6, and then capping at d8. You can get expertise dice from a variety of sources.

Your Character Sheet​

On your character sheet, skills won’t be listed along with relevant ability scores. They’ll be separated from the ability scores, to make it clear that any skill can be used with any ability. It’ll look something like this:

Athletics [] _______________

You’d check the box if you are proficient, and you’d write your speciality (if you have one) on the line.

Continue reading...
 

log in or register to remove this ad



Faolyn

Hero
Mmm. I'm a bit iffy on Local Knowledge. How local is Local? Is this a skill that will be worthless outside of your home area?

I'd be tempted to call this Cultural Knowledge, where Culture (which should be renamed to something else, actually) could be anything from your city to your Culture a la Forgotten Folx or Caravanner or whatever, to your guild or organization.

As it is, Local Knowledge is something that should come with your background and class. You're an Urchin Fighter, so you know Urchin-y things and how to deal with the underground fighting circuit. You're a Sage Wizard, so you know the culture of the libraries and mages' guilds.

I like the idea of Engineering as a skill, though. That definitely fills an open niche.

These new skills are gonna throw off my homemade character sheets. It was so easy to line to six attribute sections in a table with each section three rows high and have it match up with 18 skills.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Mmm. I'm a bit iffy on Local Knowledge. How local is Local? Is this a skill that will be worthless outside of your home area?

I'd be tempted to call this Cultural Knowledge, where Culture (which should be renamed to something else, actually) could be anything from your city to your Culture a la Forgotten Folx or Caravanner or whatever, to your guild or organization.

As it is, Local Knowledge is something that should come with your background and class. You're an Urchin Fighter, so you know Urchin-y things and how to deal with the underground fighting circuit. You're a Sage Wizard, so you know the culture of the libraries and mages' guilds.
We've been going round and round on the name for that one, with a list of suggestions (LK is the old 3.x name; PF2E calls it Society). But yes, your background does give you skill proficiencies.
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Mmm. I'm a bit iffy on Local Knowledge. How local is Local? Is this a skill that will be worthless outside of your home area?

I suppose if you were to use Charisma+Local Knowledge it would cover ‘Gather Information’ actions, the time taken to get a better understanding of the local habits and customs or thge likely layout of the town.
I can see where it might overlap with Background knowledge but really an Urchin knowing about allieyways, where to get free food and the seedy parts of town to avoid is more a Local Knowledge specialty than a general skill

Also what does extra specialties based on your Intelligence modifier mean? It just seems a bit weird that Intelligence influences if I get more Athletics specialities (its a minor thing, it just bemused me)
 
Last edited:

Faolyn

Hero
We've been going round and round on the name for that one, with a list of suggestions (LK is the old 3.x name; PF2E calls it Society). But yes, your background does give you skill proficiencies.
I didn't mean the skill proficiencies you get with your backgrounds, I meant more like Local Knowledge would be part of your background. Like if you take Guild Artisan, you know Guild Lore. But I guess that could be an expertise die kind of thing. Roll History, but since it's a guild thing, you get an expertise die.
 

cbwjm

Hero
This is cool, I've been wanting to add in specialities for a while now. I already call for skill checks with different ability scores, I'd quite like to see them uncoupled from ability scores as the base though, we use DnDbeyond so they are linked but if I'm writing up a character on paper, I tend to just add a line for skills and write them in without the final numbers.

Also what does extra specialties based on your Intelligence modifier mean? It just seems a bit weird that Intelligence influences if I get more Athletics specialities (its a minor thing, it just bemused me)

Likely just a call back to other editions where intelligence gave you bonus skill points or proficiencies. I like seeing that brought back in.
 

A.J.gibson

Explorer
Wow, I'm impressed. I'm so impressed, I'm going to post on this board for the first time in 10 years (seriously, last post was 2010).

This is exactly what I want in a skill system: no ability/skill links and specializations within skills so that skills can be broad while still allowing specialization. Also, no skill points (since 5e, not d20). I was going to ask about cultural knowledge: does it also work as a performance skill (so CK(Dex) can be used to dance, or CK(Cha) for acting)?
 

Xethreau

Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
I was going to ask about cultural knowledge: does it also work as a performance skill (so CK(Dex) can be used to dance, or CK(Cha) for acting)?
I can't say for sure, but if it were me, a character applying both their Performance skill and their Cultural Knowledge skill at the same time in order to really impress the locals with your cross-cultural literacy / apprication for local customs (or even Deception/Disguise Kit + Local Knowledge to pass as a local) would be rewarded with their best version of the check, plus an expertise die.
 

dave2008

Legend
I agree with the emphasis on skills and ability scores being separate (of course we already do this in our 5e game). I also like the extended use of expertise dice and specialties, in theory. I think it is good for people who like that extra granularity, but when we tried something similar it just didn't add anything to the game for us. However, I image the target audience for this alt 5e will enjoy it.
 

Starfox

Adventurer
I don'tmind having the Option to change what ability a skill is used with, but I am not fond of disassociating them entirely. This makes the players task much harder when making a character to be good at some ability. "I want to make a character good at climbing" - "That's Athletics, and also Strength, Dex, or Con depending on the type of climbing". Player dutifully puts points into all of this. The character then comes to a mountain village. "I want to impress the villagers with my climbing ability" - "Ok, roll Athletics + Charisma" "Oh shite!" My preferred solution is actually to disassociate skills from ability scores entirely, but that is likely too big a departure from the history of DnD.
 

EchoSerenity

First Post
One of the big survey results was related to more granularity with skills. With that in mind, we are currently developing the O5E (original 5E) skill system into something a little more detailed. Here’s where we are right now, with the caveat that this is very much a peek at work in development and is very subject to change.

Skill List​

The skill list is largely the same. We’ve added two new skills: Engineering, which allows a character to know a fact or advance a project involving building, invention, or mathematics; and Local Knowledge, which encompasses things like streetwise, customs, traditions, and knowing who or where things are.

Skill Checks​

In O5E, you make ability checks. In Level Up, you can also make skill checks.

You can use any ability with any skill as long as it’s appropriate to the task at hand. For example, let’s look at the new skill of Engineering. You might use Intelligence (Engineering) to figure out how a strange machine works; you might use Dexterity (Engineering) to build a tiny device; or you might use Strength (Engineering) to build a wall. As usual, if you are proficient in a skill you get to add your proficiency bonus to the ability check.

Of course, if you aren’t proficient in a relevant skill, you can still try with a flat ability check.

Specialties​

In each skill you might also have a specialty. Just because you are proficient in Athletics doesn’t mean you’re equally good at swimming, climbing, and jumping.

The number of specialties you have is equal to your proficiency modifier — you start with two, and you gain more as you increase in level. You note the specialty next to the skill. Whenever your speciality applies, you gain an expertise die in that check.

You also gain some extra specialties based on your Intelligence modifier.

Each skill has its own list of possible specialties, although these may vary sightly in different game worlds. For example, Acrobatics offers balancing, escape artistry, and tumbling, while Athletics includes climbing, jumping, lifting, running, swimming, and throwing.

Expertise Dice​

You have already seen expertise dice in the Rogue playtest document and elsewhere. An expertise die is an extra d4 you add to an ability check, attack roll, skill check, or saving throw. If you gain more than one expertise die for a particular roll, they don’t stack directly; instead they increase the size of the expertise die from d4 to d6, and then capping at d8. You can get expertise dice from a variety of sources.

Your Character Sheet​

On your character sheet, skills won’t be listed along with relevant ability scores. They’ll be separated from the ability scores, to make it clear that any skill can be used with any ability. It’ll look something like this:

Athletics [] _______________

You’d check the box if you are proficient, and you’d write your speciality (if you have one) on the line.

Continue reading...
I absolutely love the new mechanics around Proficiency, Specialties & Expertise, they are spectacular. I want them in my game right now.
 

narfandor

First Post
I totally can't understand the thing. What are skill checks? How they are supposed to work?

For example, in dnd 5e:
1. Player describe an action
2. GM choose an ability, always one of six
3. GM check if the player have some source of proficency bonus to it(skill, instrument and so on) and apply it
4. Make a roll

Thats why dnd 5e have only ability checks - because for any roll GM select one ability.

How skill checks should be played? For example, who should choose a skill: player or game master? What if there is no corresponding skills(For example, what I should choose in drinking contest? Survivial?) or more that once? How this is mixed with ability check? Can both exist in the same time and how to choose between them? Can skill check exists without any ability(like in GURPS)?
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
I totally can't understand the thing. What are skill checks? How they are supposed to work?

For example, in dnd 5e:
1. Player describe an action
2. GM choose an ability, always one of six
3. GM check if the player have some source of proficency bonus to it(skill, instrument and so on) and apply it
4. Make a roll

Thats why dnd 5e have only ability checks - because for any roll GM select one ability.

How skill checks should be played? For example, who should choose a skill: player or game master? What if there is no corresponding skills(For example, what I should choose in drinking contest? Survivial?) or more that once? How this is mixed with ability check? Can both exist in the same time and how to choose between them? Can skill check exists without any ability(like in GURPS)?
It’s exactly like it already is in core 5E. Check page 174 of your Player’s Handbook where it tells you how to make ability checks.

029683C0-F55C-4C26-8F7B-7D9B5932F900.jpeg

2F5AB757-0C21-46BA-8394-016345A0B261.jpeg
 

narfandor

First Post
It’s exactly like it already is in core 5E. Check page 174 of your Player’s Handbook where it tells you how to make ability checks.
Yes, It's how to make ability checks. But as far I see skill check are not ability checks. For example, for ability check you firstly choose an ability and after that you choose a skill for profiency bonus. But, for example, in druid test page I see
First-Hand Naturalist
... you may always choose to use Wisdom when making Nature checks.
How that should be played? You choose an ability second, choose the profiency bonus sources and if Nature fits(you can have no Nature profiency!) you can change the ability used? Or you should choose the skill first, and if you use Nature and only then you should choose the ability score? Can you use Nature skill when you are not profient with it and have profiency bonus from other source like herbalism kit? Or other skill? That confuse me!
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
Yes, It's how to make ability checks. But as far I see skill check are not ability checks. For example, for ability check you firstly choose an ability and after that you choose a skill for profiency bonus. But, for example, in druid test page I see

How that should be played? You choose an ability second, choose the profiency bonus sources and if Nature fits(you can have no Nature profiency!) you can change the ability used? Or you should choose the skill first, and if you use Nature and only then you should choose the ability score? Can you use Nature skill when you are not profient with it and have profiency bonus from other source like herbalism kit? Or other skill? That confuse me!
Just like in the second photo, also from the Players Handbook. I think you’re overcomplicating it. Choose whichever you like first as long as the result is a viable check.
 

narfandor

First Post
Just like in the second photo, also from the Players Handbook. I think you’re overcomplicating it. Choose whichever you like first as long as the result is a viable check.
Sorry, I'm a pedantic person. And when someone is prinitng the rules, I want them to be cristal clear. I spend a lot of time about RAW/RAI rules discussion.

And in that post rules are very vague. For example, I can see the situation when more that one skills(or other profiency bonus sources) can be applied to one task. In OD&D I have an answer for such situation: apply largest bonus only one time. But I cannot see what I should do here. Can I apply profiency bonus from one skill, expertise die from another and some other bonuses(like ability change) from the third?
 

Corrosive

Adventurer
Sorry, I'm a pedantic person. And when someone is prinitng the rules, I want them to be cristal clear. I spend a lot of time about RAW/RAI rules discussion.

And in that post rules are very vague. For example, I can see the situation when more that one skills(or other profiency bonus sources) can be applied to one task. In OD&D I have an answer for such situation: apply largest bonus only one time. But I cannot see what I should do here. Can I apply profiency bonus from one skill, expertise die from another and some other bonuses(like ability change) from the third?
In core 5E no. You use one ability and one skill like it says in the rules on ability checks.

In A5E dunno, nobody’s seen the rules yet, but I would guess no.
 

narfandor

First Post
In core 5E no. You use one ability and one skill like it says in the rules on ability checks.
There is nothing in core 5e about it. It's only written about profiency bonus -
Your Profiency Bonus can’t be added to a single die roll or other number more than once. For example, if two different rules say you can add your Profiency Bonus to a Wisdom saving throw, you nevertheless add the bonus only once when you make the save.
And because the profiency bonus is the only kind that can be applied to skills, it is calculated only once, regardless the number of sources(and you can have more that one!). The main idea behind profiency bonus is to make rules very simply. But since new rules added many other types of bonuses, I'm a little worried about calculation. Should players choose between 1d4 expertise dice and profiency? How that can be to the new players? Will be that intresting or just waste of time?
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top