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5E Number of skill proficiencies and niche protection

So I'm looking at the UA article for fighter, and seeing the same problem I saw in the other UA articles that had fighter subclasses.

They give them 2 additional skill proficiencies, which gives them as many as a rogue, and *more* than a ranger.

This really ticks me off because it is entirely throwing off the relationship between the classes in that area. It would be like giving rogues d12 for HD.

Note: The problem I have is not the number of skill proficiencies they are giving fighter, but the number these proposed subclasses are giving it *relative* to the number that other classes who are supposed to have more have. If you give it to fighter, you need to give extra proficiencies to rogues and rangers somehow--which won't happen because it would be retroactively altering the PHB.
 

Proxxy55

Villager
I think you're overreacting. This is the fighter we're talking about. As a base class, they have essentially no out of combat utility. A few skill proficiencies won't change that. It's not nearly on the same level as giving another class a d12 hit die.

Remember that the thief still has expertise(as well as more utility in their archetypes), and the Ranger has magic, Favored Enemy/Natural Explorer/Primeval Awareness, and potentially more utility from either Bestmaster or Deep Stalker.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
I don't really see the extra skills as an issue, otherwise, we could also say that it's a problem with the college of lore, they gain an extra 3 skills for a class which already has so many, does it really need another 3? The knowledge cleric gains 2 more skills with expertise while a nature cleric gains one more skill. If you bring in the subclasses from SCAG then you have the arcana cleric gaining proficiency in arcana, the purple dragon knight gains proficiency in persuasion (or one other if already proficient) and the bladesinger in performance. This doesn't include the subclasses that grant additional tools or which there are a few.

Basically, they've been allowing subclasses to give more skills from the very beginning of 5e, so I don't see that there is a problem with the fighter gaining a couple of extra skills by taking a specific subclass and I don't feel the need for bards, rogues, and rangers, to need more skills to keep some kind of niche protection. Who knows, the upcoming ranger and rogue UAs might even provide subclasses with additional skills.
 

pming

Explorer
Hiya!

So I'm looking at the UA article for fighter, and seeing the same problem I saw in the other UA articles that had fighter subclasses.

They give them 2 additional skill proficiencies, which gives them as many as a rogue, and *more* than a ranger.

This really ticks me off because it is entirely throwing off the relationship between the classes in that area. It would be like giving rogues d12 for HD.

Note: The problem I have is not the number of skill proficiencies they are giving fighter, but the number these proposed subclasses are giving it *relative* to the number that other classes who are supposed to have more have. If you give it to fighter, you need to give extra proficiencies to rogues and rangers somehow--which won't happen because it would be retroactively altering the PHB.
I'm going to have to second [MENTION=6864134]Proxxy55[/MENTION], and toss in a "*shrug*" as well. Additionally, don't forget that the UA stuff isn't "official and complete"...it's "here's some ideas we thought we'd toss out there for folks to use, change, give feedback on, and that kind of thing".

I'm sure you are sick of hearing this, but if you don't like it, change it. Especially with regards to the UA stuff (hell, they even tell you to change it if you don't like something ("...be ready to rule on stuff; it's written in pencil, not ink" or something like that from the very first UA article.

One thing that I still see some 3.x/PF/4e folks struggle with (sorry Sword of Spirit...not sure if you are one of these previous edition players/DM's) is the immutable fact that in order to play 5e 'correctly', the DM is required to make rulings, adjust stuff on the fly and on an individual basis, and otherwise "makes :):):):) up". This is a perfect example of the 'adjust stuff' part; just nix the skill additions from those archtypes, or have the ones that seem 'core' to that concept simply replace ones that normally fall into the 'generic fighter'. That's just one of the tasks a DM has to handle (if you are DM...sounds like you are).

Or...just don't use or read anything from Sage Advice or Unearthed Arcana, and you'll remain in ignorant bliss! :) I don't give any real thought or merit to anything coming out of Sage Advice or UA; I'm much more happy with my own additions, rulings, changes, and removals. :)

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 
S

Sunseeker

Guest
What niche do fighters have? The "hit things with a stick" niche? Not much of a niche if you ask me. Whose toes are the stepping on? Almost every other class gets far more skills and is far better with skills, with the possible exception of the Barbarian (rage fighter) and the Paladin (holy fighter). Maybe if fighters started getting evasion, rage, channel divinity or bardic lore we could worry about more skills making other classes obsolete, but I'm pretty sure everyone else will do just fine with the Fighter getting two more skills (one of its most lackluster areas of the game).
 
Okay, there is a progression between classes that have more skills and classes that have less. It looks roughly like this.

1) Rogues have the most.
2) Bards and Rangers are in the middle.
3) Most of everyone else gets the least skills.

The problem is that these new subclasses are catapulting a category 3 class into category 1 without any lore/narrative/fluff justification for the departure. If there was a "Dungeoneer" fighter subclass that got 2 extra skills that would be fine. The one extra skill (with Expertise) of the Purple Dragon Knight is also fine.

I don't know, I think if people don't see the problem, they aren't looking at it from the perspective of class identity.
 

Proxxy55

Villager
You're overreaching with class identity. The number of skills known is not part of any class's core niche (except the bard's Jack of All Trades). If you wanted to distill Rogue down into it's most base components, you would wind up with Expertise, and the ability to unlock doors with Thieves' Tools. And, surprise, that's what is unique about them. Not many other classes can get Thieves' Tools, and none can get it as easily, or get expertise with them.

Also, doesn't the fighter deserve something? Like I said, they have NO utility built into their class, and they've always kinda been at the bottom of the barrel in DnD. I also don't understand why you think there is no "lore/narrative/fluff justification" for the fighter archetypes getting more skills. They are more specialized archetypes that get skills that make sense for them. Does it not follow that an Arcane Archer should know something about Arcana? Or that a Cavalier should know how to handle animals, or conduct himself well?
 

bid

Villager
I don't know, I think if people don't see the problem, they aren't looking at it from the perspective of class identity.
If that was the case, half-elf would break class identity. So would warlock invocations.

Now give someone expertise, and that'll break it.
 

Sebastrd

Villager
I don't know, I think if people don't see the problem, they aren't looking at it from the perspective of class identity.

Or they just disagree with you. There is that.
Quantity of skill proficiencies as a part of class identity is a past-edition paradigm. 5E uses Expertise instead.
 

Eubani

Explorer
Oh no the fighter is getting something more than I attack quick get rid of it, after all we all know fighters cannot have nice things.

Back to being serious after my little grognard appeasement ritual....Even with extra skills fighters will most likely not have the stats to make full use of them and will not compete with skill monkeys who have skills, stats and boosting abilities or spells. So even with an extra proficiency or 2 the fighter wont get close.
 

Dualazi

Villager
Okay, there is a progression between classes that have more skills and classes that have less. It looks roughly like this.

1) Rogues have the most.
2) Bards and Rangers are in the middle.
3) Most of everyone else gets the least skills.

The problem is that these new subclasses are catapulting a category 3 class into category 1 without any lore/narrative/fluff justification for the departure. If there was a "Dungeoneer" fighter subclass that got 2 extra skills that would be fine. The one extra skill (with Expertise) of the Purple Dragon Knight is also fine.

I don't know, I think if people don't see the problem, they aren't looking at it from the perspective of class identity.
No, there isn’t a problem because class identity being tied to skills hasn’t been a thing for two editions now, and likely never will be again. The classes that do differentiate themselves on the basis of skills tend to do so with things like expertise, which is niche protection enough. Gaming as a whole has progressed such that attempting to make the rogue a more-or-less necessity in clearing traps and locks isn’t going to happen.

Furthermore, you’ll have to make peace with the fact that either you give fighters more skills, or give them guaranteed political connections, status, or extraordinary ability to affect out of combat scenarios. As Proxxy says, fighters have routinely been bottom of the barrel in the class hierarchy, due in no small part to the fact that almost every other class can fight well AND affect the world more easily through skills or magic. I personally would like to see yet more done for fighters on the exploration/social side of things, personally.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
I'm also voting that it doesn't hurt class identity and isn't a problem.

I think it is lazy, but I also recognize that UA are for playtesting and the skills might just be in there as placeholders.


If you wanted to distill Rogue down into it's most base components, you would wind up with Expertise, and the ability to unlock doors with Thieves' Tools. And, surprise, that's what is unique about them. Not many other classes can get Thieves' Tools, and none can get it as easily, or get expertise with them.
Any character can get proficiency wtih thieves' tools through their background.

Rogues can get expertise with them. Thieves can use them as a bonus action. Arcane Tricksters can use them with Mage Hand.

Skill proficiency isn't a big deal. Class identity sometimes comes from the extra things they can do with those skills.
 

Proxxy55

Villager
I'm also voting that it doesn't hurt class identity and isn't a problem.

I think it is lazy, but I also recognize that UA are for playtesting and the skills might just be in there as placeholders.




Any character can get proficiency wtih thieves' tools through their background.

Rogues can get expertise with them. Thieves can use them as a bonus action. Arcane Tricksters can use them with Mage Hand.

Skill proficiency isn't a big deal. Class identity sometimes comes from the extra things they can do with those skills.
I know any character can get proficiency with Thieves' Tools. I never said anything to the contrary. Actually read my post. I said no one can get it as easily, which is true. Rogue's get it, for free, as part of their class. For another class to get it, they have to take one of, if I read correctly, two different background.

I also explicitly mentioned the expertise feature as well. And implicitly mentioned the Arcane Trickster's Mage Hand shenanigans in another post, by saying that thieves get more utility in their archetypes.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
You're overreaching with class identity. The number of skills known is not part of any class's core niche (except the bard's Jack of All Trades). If you wanted to distill Rogue down into it's most base components, you would wind up with Expertise, and the ability to unlock doors with Thieves' Tools. And, surprise, that's what is unique about them. Not many other classes can get Thieves' Tools, and none can get it as easily, or get expertise with them.
It's odd to me that you didn't mention sneak attack damage. I think a lot of people would pick that out first as a rogue's signature thing.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
I know any character can get proficiency with Thieves' Tools. I never said anything to the contrary. Actually read my post. I said no one can get it as easily, which is true. Rogue's get it, for free, as part of their class. For another class to get it, they have to take one of, if I read correctly, two different background.

I also explicitly mentioned the expertise feature as well. And implicitly mentioned the Arcane Trickster's Mage Hand shenanigans in another post, by saying that thieves get more utility in their archetypes.
Backgrounds are customizable with rules printed directly in the PHB. Every background can give you the thieves' tools proficiency.
 

Proxxy55

Villager
It's odd to me that you didn't mention sneak attack damage. I think a lot of people would pick that out first as a rogue's signature thing.
Like with the other guy, read my post. I said "distill into it's most base components," and I mean that. Sneak Attack is not part of the rogue's simplest, most basic identity. It's a quick inclusion if you expand upon it at all, yes, but it's not part of the most basic form. Because it's a damage ability, and doing damage is the fighter's niche. Being useful and sneaky is the rogue's niche.
 

Proxxy55

Villager
Backgrounds are customizable with rules printed directly in the PHB. Every background can give you the thieves' tools proficiency.
You're over-analyzing. Especially because my point still stands. Even though, yes, any class can get it through backgrounds, it sill costs them something, even if that something is as small as a tool proficiency. Rogue's get it for absolutely free.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Like with the other guy, read my post. I said "distill into it's most base components," and I mean that. Sneak Attack is not part of the rogue's simplest, most basic identity. It's a quick inclusion if you expand upon it at all, yes, but it's not part of the most basic form. Because it's a damage ability, and doing damage is the fighter's niche. Being useful and sneaky is the rogue's niche.
I see sneak attack as part of the rogues identity, it's an evolution of their backstab ability from earlier editions and is as much a part of their identity as skill users.

Sent from my SM-G925I using EN World mobile app
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
Like with the other guy, read my post.
Honey, I did read your post. . . a couple times. I'm not blind or illiterate, I simply disagree with you.


I said "distill into it's most base components," and I mean that. Sneak Attack is not part of the rogue's simplest, most basic identity. It's a quick inclusion if you expand upon it at all, yes, but it's not part of the most basic form. Because it's a damage ability, and doing damage is the fighter's niche. Being useful and sneaky is the rogue's niche.
Escalating sneak attack damage has been a core part of the rogue throughout 5e, 4e, 3e, and AD&D 2e. In many instances, it was the one thing the rogue could reliably do, especially at early levels where you had 10% and 15% chances to hide in shadows and move silently (respectively) before the penalties for the armor you were wearing.

Now, I agree with you that being "skilled" has also been a consistent aspect of being a rogue (in various expressions), going back at least as far as AD&D 2e's PP, OL, MS, HiS, FaRT, etc table. 3e gave the rogue more skill points per level and more trained skills than other classes; however, the rogue generally did not have "more skills" but was "more skilled" at the skills she did have (which often meant spending as many skill points as possible in the skills correlating to the AD&D 2e thief skills). Expertise handles that "more skilled" feature nicely.

That said, the bulk of the rogue's skills directly facilitate getting through or around physical obstacles (opening locks, climbing walls, finding and disarming traps) and setting up the backstab/sneak attack feature (hiding in shadows, and moving silently).
 

Proxxy55

Villager
I see sneak attack as part of the rogues identity, it's an evolution of their backstab ability from earlier editions and is as much a part of their identity as skill users.

Sent from my SM-G925I using EN World mobile app
Once again, I'm not disputing that. I'm saying it's not a part of their absolute, smallest, barest-bone identity. Yes, sneak attacks are very rogue, I don't disagree. They are definitely a part of their identity. But I do think including it in their bare minimum identity requirement is, at least, somewhat arguable.
 

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