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D&D 5E Skills in 5E. Do we want them?

How would you like Skills to be in D&D5E?

  • Same as they are in 3.5 or Pathfinder.

    Votes: 40 24.0%
  • Limited skill lists based on Class and Level (like 4E)

    Votes: 48 28.7%
  • No skills - just Class and Level based Abilities (like C&C)

    Votes: 18 10.8%
  • A simple skill list like Pathfinder Beginners.

    Votes: 12 7.2%
  • More Skills.

    Votes: 12 7.2%
  • Something else - please detail.

    Votes: 37 22.2%

Frostmarrow

First Post
Something like this.

Cleric:
Knowledge Religion for being a cleric as a bonus. Pick a [Theme]:

[Urban] Priest
Appraise
Bluff
Disguise
Gather information
Knowledge (Architecture; History)
Sense Motive
Sleight of Hand

[Wilderness] Druid
Climb
Handle Animal
Hide
Knowledge (Nature)
Listen
Move Silently
Spot
Survival

[Dungeon] Chaplain
Balance
Disable Device
Escape Artist
Knowledge (Dungeoneering)
Listen
Open Lock
Search
Use Rope

[Organized] Inquisitor
Diplomacy
Disguise
Forgery
Intimidate
Knowledge (Nobility)
Perform
Ride
Sense Motive

Pick five skills to be an apprentice in. 60% chance of success. Roll 1d6+Ability modifier progress points with each success towards a skill challenge.
 

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tlantl

First Post
I find skills to be very useful but cumbersome. They take a lot of time to choose and for some they are hideously difficult to comprehend. Even reasonably bright players in games I've run find them a challenge to keep track of at times.

3e D&D became tedious in all of the book keeping necessary to play. Writing dungeons for the game gave me a headache with all of the options skills gave players and the need to at least try to have logical outcomes for any contingency. The added burden made a chore out of something I used to enjoy a lot.
 

Disparue

Villager
Iron Heroes had a pretty decent system. Instead of penalizing for non-class skills it just made it easier for you to take class skills.

-No class skills
-You get a few skill groups
-If you spend a point on any skill in a skill group they all go up one point
-You can still put points into any skill

Example skill group athletics: climb, jump, swim

Under this system characters can easily level up the skills that are thematically attached to their character class and they are not prevented from branching out if they want to. For instance, a wizard could take climb or swim but would have to allocate more skill resources to it than a class that has this as one of their skill groups.

Conversely, you could just make all the skill groups into "super-skills" and reduce the number of skill points classes receive. Take a point in athletics and that skill covers all the sub-skills. I don't really like this second option, but it would really make for a smaller character sheet.
 

Szatany

First Post
What I want to see in 5E is to separate skills into groups, based on their importance in play.
Group 1:
BAB and caster level. If those were to become skills, they would be in this group. Skills like melee combat, ranged combat, combat magic, ritual magic, dodge, maybe movement, parry, concentration etc. Even saves could become skills (in addition to static defenses)
Rules for those would be most strict. Bonuses would be rare and minor.
Group 2:
skills that are useful in play but not essential. Skills that can save your life on occastion and are a good to have.
Things like ride, diplomacy, bluff, sneak, perception or athletics.
Those skills could be purchased with skill points or a flat bonus each X levels, based on class.
Group 3:
minor/background skills. Ones that don't add anything substantial to a character, or are useless in adventures.
Professions, crafts, performs, knowledge skills.
Players would be free to spend time to increase those skills as they see fit. Bonuses are cheap and easy to come by.
 
Last edited:

spaceLem

Explorer
I'd like to see a simple skills system to address certain aspects like distance you can jump, how well you can do certain physical activities, stealth, knowledges, crafting etc.

The list should be reasonable short (maybe around 8--15), and I'd really like them to have something like a few descriptive levels (e.g. untrained, novice, journeyman, master, grandmaster), if that works.

However, certain skills should be optional, such as diplomacy, searching, perception, bluffing -- that is, activities that can be roleplayed. I say optional, since I can see people getting bored of searching every inch of a corridor in case there's a trap, and some of us aren't as eloquent as our fantasy counterparts, but it shouldn't be hardcoded into the system as a required die roll.
 

Dagredhel

Explorer
If noncombat abilities (skills, nonweapon proficiencies, background, talents, etc.) are a distinct subsystem seperate from character class, then it could be a matter of preference whether to use them or not.

For 'trained skills', I echo the notion that has been mentioned several times that incremental advancement needn't be point-by-point. I do appreciate that some folks prefer point buy, and a more detailed system could be presented as just that: an option for those who prefer it. But for myself, I also prefer a progression like this:

Untrained
Apprentice
Journeyman
Master
Grandmaster
 

Li Shenron

Legend
3E worked well in play, but character creation was way too convoluted, especially if you tried to make a rules-legal high level character. Too many fiddly bits...

...

Oh, and then the game expected you to do this for every friggin NPC (and nothing had so much errata like NPC skill lists) If people who are paid to do this get it wrong, the system is too complicated.

Completely agree on the fiddly bits... it seemed good to be able to customize my PCs to the last skill point, but ultimately it's not really that important. It really bothered me instead about NPCs, to the point that so many times I just quitted and let them be rules-illegal (after all, why really care?).

Each class has 2-3 iconic skills (Arcana for the Wizard, Stealth and Thievery for Rogue etc) These are gain a flat bonus, which is equal to maximg them, say +5 +1/level.
PCs then get a number of skill points (unmodified by Intelligence!) to put in other skills. There is no restriction or different point cost, just a friendly suggestion which skills could be useful.

I'm thinking more or less the same at the moment, about having some iconic skill by default (i.e. "for free") and use points or whatever to add some secondary skills and differentiate characters. I would still like to keep Intelligence there tho (not necessarily in the same way it was used in 3ed).
 

Pilgrim

First Post
You say that so easily, but are there groups that play with no skills? How?

How do you handle success / failure of anything a PC attempts that is not an attack or a spell? Even in very bare-bones dungeoneering, you need at least some form of Perception. How do you make a rogue class without at least Stealth and Thievery?

At the very least, you need an ability score check mechanic, and some basic criterion to decide whether a PC is competent at what he attempts. Think about a Wizard and a Fighter. Even if both have Int 18, the Wizard still knows more about magic, while the Fighter should be better at devising a tactic for a huge battle. Even without skills as a game mechanic, you need a skill system.

As to Thieves, they had a nice array of thieving abilities to handles "Moving Silently" and Pick Pocketing", no need for a Stealth or Thievery "skill"

As to other stuff, just an attribute check seems to work in most cases. I don't really consider attribute checks to be a true "skills system".

So, yeah, for Core, no "skills" necessary, but as options, sure.
 

Frostmarrow

First Post
Iron Heroes had a pretty decent system. Instead of penalizing for non-class skills it just made it easier for you to take class skills.

-No class skills
-You get a few skill groups
-If you spend a point on any skill in a skill group they all go up one point
-You can still put points into any skill

Example skill group athletics: climb, jump, swim

Under this system characters can easily level up the skills that are thematically attached to their character class and they are not prevented from branching out if they want to. For instance, a wizard could take climb or swim but would have to allocate more skill resources to it than a class that has this as one of their skill groups.

Conversely, you could just make all the skill groups into "super-skills" and reduce the number of skill points classes receive. Take a point in athletics and that skill covers all the sub-skills. I don't really like this second option, but it would really make for a smaller character sheet.

I think this is a good model. It opens up for character customization while still being easy for the DM to create stock NPCs with.

(Sorry about the bad joke xp-comment above. I meant to say Welcome to the boards!)
 

Plane Sailing

Astral Admin - Mwahahaha!
I'd like a skill system - in fact I'd like a skill system that works along the lines of the WotC 'legends and lore' article a few months back!

One of the problems that appeared in 3e to my mind is that while fighters were 'the feats guy' and the monk was 'the class abilities guy', the rogue was 'the skills guy' - and having made someone the 'skills guy', then by the immutable laws of niche protection, other classes had to be the 'sucky at skills' guys - especially the fighter and his mates for some reason.

For 5e I'd like to see NO class be 'the skills guy', and to allow every class to have access to a pretty wide range of skills - perhaps a few default ones which are always appropriate to a class, and then options from an entire list; ditch the pigeonholing via 'class skills'.

The other related thing is to kill this silly dependency on rogues to disarm traps. Let anyone who invests in the appropriate skills disarm them!

Cheers
 

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