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D&D 5E Number of skill proficiencies and niche protection

Dualazi

First Post
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.
 

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ad_hoc

(they/them)
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

First Post
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

First Post
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

First Post
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

Seb-wejem
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

First Post
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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