D&D (2024) How would you change skills in 5.5e

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Hmmm...how do you know?

I mean, we can agree that the game has been incredibly successful. It is possible that this success is despite it failing in an important way that, as you claim, "the majority of the customer base wants." So much so that it "breaks" the game.

Might I suggest that another, stronger possibility, is that what you want and what the customer base wants is not the same thing, and most do not consider the game broken?

Success /= Quality or Functioning

When 6e comes out, if we are alive for it, we will name the things that 6e does better, what 5e screwed up, and sing praises of things when "always wanted" in 5e that is in 6e.

And didn't say the 5e skill system breaks the game. I said it "breaks". If they are common things that the customer wants to use within the skill system and the skill system can't perform it without halting it, it broke and has to fixed by the DM. If this happens a lot because the system wasn't designed for something fanbase expected to do or create often, the system broke.

The whole TCOE customization zones are an example of a broken system being fixed by the designers because the fanbase wanted something in lore and mechanics that the designers didn't expect they wanted and didn't build into the system.

I definitely don't want anything like the skill system that you describe.
I don't think you know the skill system I describe.

I've mostly only posted hypotheticals to questions asked or possible backwards compatible options.
 

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SteveC

Doing the best imitation of myself
This is a thread about what we would change about the 5E skill system, so of course my way of doing things isn't what is currently done. Emphasis on my way and in my opinion. I think changing it would make for a better game, and I think it would be better in the ways that the designers want the game to go. At the same time, I've no illusions that it's going to actually be adopted.

I admit to being a fiction first sort of person, and that's not D&D. I think it's where the designers want the game to go, but I also know it would be a large change.

Just for the last time: describing what you're doing and how you accomplish it brings the game in more of a fiction first and less mechanical direction. It allows the DM to much more easily model what the players envision their characters doing in terms of the mechanics.

And that's my suggestion and my opinion ... but it's also how a lot of other gamemasters handle things, including ones I take my style from.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Your post doesn't match the point of my post.

My point was that 80% of 5e players are Millenials or younger but the 5e core skill system was designed with a survey that gave the 20% that are Older than Millenials and preferred fantasy and rpgs styles older than Millenials more than their 20% of representation. Possibly double or even triple it.

Mostly because the 5e survey both had a high bar of acceptance and polled a higher percentage of Gen Xers are older than its current playerbase.

So when 5e blew up, mostly with people under ~43 year old, the playerbase became heavily shifted away from whom it was designed for. And this shift caused a shift of desire of what the fanbase wanted form lore, mechanics, and tools.

And this includes the skill system.

I might even say the 2014 skill system is mostly heavily tolerated more than it is liked, loved, or prefered. It is mostly the lack of competition within D&D's field for 5e's core fanbase ,due to the costs and risks of making a whole new RPG not based on an edition, that a popular houserule hasn't been widely adopted or new game swapped to.
These are hypotheticals. You keep trying to justify your argument by claiming that you have a special insight into what the player base wants. You don't. You are arguing for what you want and then making a lot of assumptions to project your personal opinions onto the player base as if to give your subjective taste wider support. I find this makes your argument hard to follow.

Based on your various suggestions, you seem to be hinting at a desire for a much more detailed skill system. Is that correct?
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
These are hypotheticals. You keep trying to justify your argument by claiming that you have a special insight into what the player base wants. You don't. You are arguing for what you want and then making a lot of assumptions to project your personal opinions onto the player base as if to give your subjective taste wider support. I find this makes your argument hard to follow.
What I am saying is by the way 5e was polled and surveyed in its creation, it would be impossible for the skill system to match the desires of the fans playing in 2023.


Based on your various suggestions, you seem to be hinting at a desire for a much more detailed skill system. Is that correct?
That would be incorrect.

My issue is not not lack of detail. My suggestion would be a focus on clarity and focus on what the audience actually does.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
Remove skills entirely. Use ability checks instead. Give proficiency with two ability scores. Match the "skills" ability proficiency with the "saves" ability proficiency. Only use specifically named "skills" for expertise.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Remove skills entirely. Use ability checks instead. Give proficiency with two ability scores. Match the "skills" ability proficiency with the "saves" ability proficiency. Only use specifically named "skills" for expertise.
I'd honestly much rather lose ability scores than skills.
 


Clint_L

Hero
What I am saying is by the way 5e was polled and surveyed in its creation, it would be impossible for the skill system to match the desires of the fans playing in 2023.
This is a supposition. For example, maybe most of the fans playing in 2023 learned on or prefer 5e, so its skill system makes perfect sense to them. There are still folks who swear by THACO.

So it’s not impossible. I happen to dislike the 5e skill system but I don’t see a lot of widespread rebellion against it, nor did WotC flag it as a problem in their surveys. So I suspect most folks are fine with it.

Neither of us can know, but to claim that it is impossible for the player base (however that is defined) to think differently than you does not help your argument, IMO.
That would be incorrect.

My issue is not not lack of detail. My suggestion would be a focus on clarity and focus on what the audience actually does.
So…more clarity but not more detail? Can you give an example? I have argued that there need to be fewer skills and they shouldn’t be tied to ability scores. I think there should be significantly less detail.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
This is a supposition. For example, maybe most of the fans playing in 2023 learned on or prefer 5e, so its skill system makes perfect sense to them. There are still folks who swear by THACO.

So it’s not impossible. I happen to dislike the 5e skill system but I don’t see a lot of widespread rebellion against it, nor did WotC flag it as a problem in their surveys. So I suspect most folks are fine with it.

Neither of us can know, but to claim that it is impossible for the player base (however that is defined) to think differently than you does not help your argument, IMO.
Like I said in earlier posts, there isn't much to compare the 5e skill system against that is popular enough.

5e like most editions of D&D, benefits from the fan base not knowing about many other games or editions to compare to. So the only time when 5e's audience would see heavy criticism openly would be at the 4e->5e conversion.

It's sort of how people complain about something for 5e and ask for a solution and it exists in the 5e DMG. The designers openly say this happens and are designing the DMG because of this.

The "nobody is complaining" thing isn't true. People have complained so much that the designers are reordering the DMG so people can find what they are looking for. There are people making Youtube careers pointing out stuff in the DMG and posting personal houserules.

So…more clarity but not more detail? Can you give an example? I have argued that there need to be fewer skills and they shouldn’t be tied to ability scores. I think there should be significantly less detail.

Clarity:
For example bending a bar, lifting a gate, breaking a door, or toppling a item is not an Ahletics check RAW. Those are "other Strength checks". So a STR based fighter, the PC you'd think and traditionally would would be getting better at those things, does not add their profiecency modifier to a STR check to topple a statue. Nor can they take a skill and train themselves to do so. These are common actions PCs perform.

So either add bend/break/lift/topple to Athletics as RAW or add a new skill that does it.

Focus:
Which gets down to the other aspect: focus on what players and DMs do and want.

Going back to the clarity example, if the basic rules fighter is a basic STR fighter: That fighter needs to be able to do things with their STR outside of combat. The "Fighter is good at combat so its should be poor at out of combat rolls" is no a mentally of 5e tables. There is ony one strength skill and it doesn't even cover all STR checks.

Expand Athletics? Add a skill? Remove skills and give Ability Score proficiency like you suggested? Choose one. But the current one doesn''t match the mentality of current 5e tables.
 

Combine Animal Handling, Nature, and Survival into a single skill
Create a ride/pilot skill
Increase the skill floor of the classes that get only 2 skills like Fighters to 3.
Get rid of languages. Replace with linguistics skill.
 

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