log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E On meaningless restrictions

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
That's a reasonable approach. I'd say that defining class skills still serves a purpose, and that even with backgrounds you're still probably not going to get a lot of skills that aren't on your class list (barring the Skilled Feat, which if you want it that badly then you can have it).

Curious what purpose you see in it?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I’ve done no such thing, and it is extremely rude to put words in someone’s mouth, so please refrain from that.

I proposed a compromise. There is no actual need for even a level 5 flight restriction, but I’d be willing to accept it for the sake of people who really hate low level flight. It would still very much be a meaningless restriction.

I apologize. May I offer a suggestion for future discussion. The first time someone "puts words in your mouth" it's because they legitimately thought that is what you meant. So clarify and then if they insist that's what you said then at that point it becomes extremely rude that they are talking past you.

We all could yell at each other for putting words in each others mouths. One must attempt to judge the intent.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I think that one can probably choose a background that works, and many DMs (I'm one) will work with a player to slightly alter the backgrounds in the PHB.
Just a fun reminder for everyone.

Your DM may not be aware of this, or you may not be aware as a DM, but the actual rules as written of 5e backgrounds are that the player (not the DM, the player) makes or chooses a background. DM input is required only in oversight (does this fit the campaign, etc), and in making any new background feature.

By the RAW, you can simply pick 2 skills, 2 of some combo of languages and tools, a set of starting equipment in line with the phb example backgrounds, and a either choose or work with the DM to create a background feature.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I apologize. May I offer a suggestion for future discussion. The first time someone "puts words in your mouth" it's because they legitimately thought that is what you meant. So clarify and then if they insist that's what you said then at that point it becomes extremely rude that they are talking past you.

We all could yell at each other for putting words in each others mouths. One must attempt to judge the intent.

Asking you to refrain from something isn’t yelling at you.

I also provided a clarification of what I actually said. 🤷‍♂️
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
@FrogReaver

aside from whether flight is a big deal, part of the point is that “no flying creatures until a certain level” and “specifically not until this level” are essentially two different restrictions, that do two different things.

even if we accept that it’s good to level fate movement types in order to space outhow much power is gained all at once, gating flight to a level higher than 5 would still be a meaningless restriction, in that context.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Just a fun reminder for everyone.

Your DM may not be aware of this, or you may not be aware as a DM, but the actual rules as written of 5e backgrounds are that the player (not the DM, the player) makes or chooses a background. DM input is required only in oversight (does this fit the campaign, etc), and in making any new background feature.

By the RAW, you can simply pick 2 skills, 2 of some combo of languages and tools, a set of starting equipment in line with the phb example backgrounds, and a either choose or work with the DM to create a background feature.

And I tell the players that I want to know what their background is (and their backstory), and that I will help them work something out if they want. So far, it hasn't been a problem.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
@FrogReaver

aside from whether flight is a big deal, part of the point is that “no flying creatures until a certain level” and “specifically not until this level” are essentially two different restrictions, that do two different things.

even if we accept that it’s good to level fate movement types in order to space outhow much power is gained all at once, gating flight to a level higher than 5 would still be a meaningless restriction, in that context.

Right, I agree.

There is one other consideration to the equation that isn't mentioned here. When the restriction is in place due to power then the whole power package must be accounted for as a whole and not just ability a allows flight and ability b does so they both should be the same level. That said in this particular case the druid isn't more powerful than the wizard even with level 5 flight through wildshape. But in other situations that could have changed the conclusion.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Curious what purpose you see in it?

If we're going to have classes, demarcating their boundaries is part of that. Sure, not every character of a certain class is going to have the exact same skills (even aside from backgrounds), but if classes are types (and there's at least an argument they are) then certain skills are, well, typical.

Someone earlier (I think) also said something about the limitations making it easier for beginning players to build a character, and there seems to be some wisdom there. Even that aside, some people find inspiration more in limitations than in ... the opposite. It's like a drummer choosing not to have any cymbals on their kit, or a music producer choosing to record on tape rather than a computer (differences in sound aside in the latter).

Also, if certain skills go with certain classes, it serves a purpose similar to niche-protection, in that it gives all the classes something out-of-combat to be good at, or at least do (and I believe characters should have something to do in-combat and out-of-combat). I think is also makes the classes a little more coherent.

With the flexibility in backgrounds, you can make a character with at least one idiosyncratic skill easily enough; two if you go completely free-form. It's not so limiting that I at least feel straghitjacketed. Obviously, experiences differ.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Can you explain why you feel skill restrictions are meaningless? I'd actually say that they lose meaning if you remove the restriction, as then any class build can be good in any skill.

Yes. Skill restrictions are meaningless because there is no benefit to restricting the skill choices based on class. There is no power based reason to disallow, there is no thematic based reason to disallow. There is a benefit to allowing the other (non-skill) choices based on class.

And I'd generally make a player justify a change to the rules because in my experience the reason they are asking is to overpower their character build compared to other players.

I think the best stance is that it should depend on the scope and type of thing in question of being changed
 
Last edited:

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
If we're going to have classes, demarcating their boundaries is part of that. Sure, not every character of a certain class is going to have the exact same skills (even aside from backgrounds), but if classes are types (and there's at least an argument they are) then certain skills are, well, typical.

That sounds a lot like restriction for restrictions sake.

Someone earlier (I think) also said something about the limitations making it easier for beginning players to build a character, and there seems to be some wisdom there. Even that aside, some people find inspiration more in limitations than in ... the opposite. It's like a drummer choosing not to have any cymbals on their kit, or a music producer choosing to record on tape rather than a computer (differences in sound aside in the latter).

I don't fully disagree with this, but I disagree with the conclusion because it's a matter of degree. Choose 2 of 8 skills vs choose 2 of 18 is not really the kind of limitation that is really going to benefit a beginning player IMO.

Also, if certain skills go with certain classes, it serves a purpose similar to niche-protection, in that it gives all the classes something out-of-combat to be good at, or at least do (and I believe characters should have something to do in-combat and out-of-combat). I think is also makes the classes a little more coherent.

There's already too much overlap in skills and backgrounds and racial skills to really believe this kind of niche protection exists in 5e. If 5e had even greater restrictions on skills then this would be a viable reason to not remove the restriction IMO.

With the flexibility in backgrounds, you can make a character with at least one idiosyncratic skill easily enough; two if you go completely free-form. It's not so limiting that I at least feel straghitjacketed. Obviously, experiences differ.

I don't feel straightjacketed either. However, there's times when I can't take one of the skills I want to take on the character I want to make. I usually can find a substitute that still allows me to play some version of the character I had in mind, but I see no compelling reason that i should have to do that.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
That sounds a lot like restriction per restrictions sake.

It's more a matter that I'm playing a game with classes. I've played and enjoyed games that didn't have classes, and I've played and enjoyed games that were more in the middle than even 5E is. I've homebrewed systems to make other skill systems more flexible. Then again, at this point I'm apparently more willing to embrace limitations than you are.

I don't fully disagree with this, but I disagree with the conclusion because it's a matter of degree. Choose 2 of 8 skills vs choose 2 of 18 is not really the kind of limitation that is really going to benefit a beginning player IMO.

I think smaller lists are less intimidating to people who aren't used to TRPGs. It's kinda like going to a restaurant where the menu has 7 items, compared to a place where the menu has 40. Sure, if you know the restaurant (or at least the cuisine) you probably know what you want before you go in, but someone completely new to it can easily be overwhelmed.

There's already too much overlap in skills and backgrounds and racial skills to really believe this kind of niche protection exists in 5e. If 5e had even greater restrictions on skills then this would be a viable reason to not remove the restriction IMO.

But the overlap isn't total. I'm someone who likes skillhound characters, and I've homebrewed stuff to my taste in other systems, and I don't see the value of removing this particular restriction in this particular system.

I've also had some bad experiences with players who wanted minor exceptions carved out in the rules that later turned out to be chasms laden with exploits.

I don't feel straightjacketed either. However, there's times when I can't take one of the skills I want to take on the character I want to make. I usually can find a substitute that still allows me to play some version of the character I had in mind, but I see no compelling reason that i should have to do that.

And I have a character in my head, who uses the Bard class mechanics and isn't a performer (trades out the instrument proficiencies for tool proficiencies, for reasons that make sense given his backstory). I don't think it's all that uncommon for people who spend enough time thinking about a given game to end up with character ideas that push the limits of the rules a little. If your idea for the character goes beyond the flexibility in RAW, remembering what someone said upthread about the concept maybe needing some levels, talk to your GM.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
@FrogReaver ,

Since skills are no longer restricted by class, and you can usually get other skills via background and race, there really ins't any purpose in the restriction other than to help define roles via class. If something like Thieves' Tools was only available to rogues and maybe bards, such restrictions would serve a purpose, however misguided.

Barring the argument for role-assistance, the designers in 5E realized that really any character, regardless of class, could have the potential to learn any skill. IMO this is why backgrounds were put into play, to give players that choices. Thus, you can have a character who isn't a rogue, but knows how to use Thieves' Tools.

EDIT: toss in skills and tools gained via subclasses, and the Skilled and Prodigy feats, and it becomes even easier to get access to skills or tools you really want eventually--even if you don't get them at level 1.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Right, I agree.

There is one other consideration to the equation that isn't mentioned here. When the restriction is in place due to power then the whole power package must be accounted for as a whole and not just ability a allows flight and ability b does so they both should be the same level. That said in this particular case the druid isn't more powerful than the wizard even with level 5 flight through wildshape. But in other situations that could have changed the conclusion.
Sure. And dropping the restriction altogether would be a (totally fine) power boost for the Druid over the Wizard if the Druid could cast in wild shape form. Awfully easy to duck in and out of total cover as a sparrow, after all. But when you have to drop wildshape to cast a spell, that is no longer nearly as powerful.
 

Skill restrictions are meaningless because there is no benefit to restricting the skill choices based on class. There is no power based reason to disallow, there is no thematic based reason to disallow.
Disagree. Class based skill restrictions exist because they help define the class archtype or stereotype.

I understand that some people can envision a character with a class that does not fit that stereotype, but the type is there for a reason.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Disagree. Class based skill restrictions exist because they help define the class archtype or stereotype.

I understand that some people can envision a character with a class that does not fit that stereotype, but the type is there for a reason.
The archetype can be modeled without skill restrictions. The only role skills play there is ensuring that each class has access to the skills relevant to their archetypes, which is accomplished just fine by allowing anyone to take any skills.

the single valid purpose of class restrictions is to simplify character creation by making sure that classes that have to pick several spells at level 1, and/or other class features, don’t also have to pick 3-4 skills from the entire skill list. The bard goes hard on making you pick stuff early on, but it’s the exception.
 

jmartkdr2

Adventurer
Disagree. Class based skill restrictions exist because they help define the class archtype or stereotype.

I understand that some people can envision a character with a class that does not fit that stereotype, but the type is there for a reason.

The thing is: what is the reason, and is it a good enough reason to justify not allowing players to pick whatever skills they like for all their skill choices? (rather than pick whatever you want for two and then two off this list)

I believe upthread someone argued that the class archtypes help new players not get confused about what to do. I'm not sure this works (because they still have the full list for half of their choices anyways) I can definitely agree that there are potentially mechanically bad skill choices, but those are still on several class skill lists, so the restriction isn't helping there.

The second question about the reason being good enough is, of course, subjective.
 

Monayuris

Adventurer
I agree with class restrictions and I think 5E is way too lenient, in this regard.

If I choose to play a wizard, part of that choice is expecting to be an expert on magical knowledge and maybe even history. I expect to be the one the group turns to in those matters

When a rogue with expertise or even an high Int Barbarian can know as much or more about magic as I can, it kind of removes that expectation.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Niche protection is an important concept IMO. However, skill restriction doesn't add any Niche protection because there's already a RAW way to get any 2 skills you desire on a character (using background rules).
So maybe in the interests of niche protection (and, yes, somewhat against the intent of this thread) the idea of background giving you two extra skills needs to be shut down?
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
So maybe in the interests of niche protection (and, yes, somewhat against the intent of this thread) the idea of background giving you two extra skills needs to be shut down?

Not the route I would prefer but it would be a defensible position.
 

Halloween Horror For 5E

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top