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%


4e-style simplified skill list as default, expanded skill list and ranks, 3e-style as option (but please add in half-level bonus as in 4e, and ditch synergies and cross-class skills).

Add in a 2e-style "Secondary Skills" siloing option for groups who wish to have rules for crafting and professions beyond just writing "blacksmith" on the character sheet.

More than happy to leave skills out of any introductory set for new players, but I hope they are retained as default for the core book.
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My pie in the sky:

No skills lists (except rogueish classes*). If the PC tries something like tying a sheepshank or fashioning arrows in the woods, then assign a target number and have them roll stat mod + level vs. DM assigned target number.

The DM would take the character's history into account when applying the target number (a bounty hunter would have a better chance of tying up a prisoner than a cloistered cleric).

This will *never* happen of course---even though it's the most 'old-school' system I have ever played.

*in this system, rogues are allowed to try extraordinary things like silently walking on rice paper or running across walls.

Elf Witch

First Post
I find skills to be an important part of the game especially skills that give you things to do outside of combat.

Take diplomacy you need some way for players who are not very charismatic in real life or who get tongue tied easily to have a way to play a bard or some other charismatic type character.

I also would like skills opened up and not be based on class why can't a fighter have knowledge skills and diplomacy. Why can't a sorcerer pick pockets.

I would like to see a way to make skills not get to the point that you can't fail a roll. In my group a 1 on a skill is a -10 a 20 is a +10.

I would like to see skills like heal and profession herbalism actually give back HP and alchemy should not be just for arcane users.

I also personally liked scry being a skill like it was in 3 before they changed it in 3.5 no ranks you can't do the spell and the information you get is dependent on well you roll. That was a great way imo to stop scry from being the game breaker.

I don't like things tied to class because I find it boring and unrealistic it makes all fighters look the same or all wizards look the same.


First Post
I want an concise skill list like 4E with the Tiers that Monte Cook was talking about. That should be the base game, with options to use an expanded list, expanded point system, or skill-free sub if you want customization.

I'm fine with each class coming with a couple of skills already trained to a professional tier. Wizards should know arcana. Clerics should know religion. There should still be tiers above that level of education that separate adepts, masters, and living legends that open up as characters advance in play.

- Marty Lund
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I'd like to see an optional skill system with:
1) a limited number of skills (of approximately equal usefulness)
2) no skill points.



End the combat/non-combat divide (as the vast majority of RPGs have done). Same rules framework should apply to both combat and non-combat situations, which should encourage players to seek new (creative) ways for conflict resolution.

3.x BAB was just a skill with a fixed progression rate for all classes. The saves were exactly the same. Why not just introduce skills to replace them and unify the mechanics (we're nearly there anyway)?

Of course, the system needs to be such that lower complexity dials don't need to include skills at all.


I'd be good with a very minimal core skill system and let folks dial up the complexity.

For example, skill ranks (ala 3e) pretty much need to be an option, not a requirement. If instead folks only have a couple of ranks (like what they were talking about in some of the L&L articles), that's not much different than picking training/mastery in a skill, so sure.
Hey, that's what I said!


I also thought I'd mention this idea (link):
What if this was the case for everything? There was a concrete number (1-5 skill points or whatever), that was a beginner, and several ranks above that (every 5 skill points sounds reasonable). Beginner-Expert-Master-Legend or somesuch. And each rank and a few basic assumed tasks that they could obviously do, as decided in the skill. Tiers don't work very well for characters as a whole, but they work great for skills individually!
There may be something close in the works if the Legends & Lore Skills article written by Mearls. But it's one that moves the game less in terms of skill points, but more in terms of ability checks that can be optimized through talents. Mearls indicates how this system could work with a preexisting skill rank system. This was in August, so who's to say that the skill system looks like this. But I would prefer an overall simplified approach to skills.


First Post
To put it simply - not having skills in 5e would be a deal breaker for me.

I like the version in Pathfinder - once a class skill, always a class skill, no X4 at 1st level, and I pretty much like the way skills are broken down.

And for the gods sakes, listen to the playtesters if and when they tell you that the skill system has problems!

The Auld Grump


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"

The thief class abilities were the skill system. That's the point I was trying to make. As soon as you have a Rogue and Move Silently, and other subsystems like the d6 roll to detect secret doors, you might as well unite those subsystems into a simple skill system for all characters. It's easier to learn and handles a much broader set of issues.

It's weird that D&D took so long to do that. When 3rd edition finally introduced a comprehensive skill system, other RPGs had this for something like a decade. I don't even know which RPG introduced skills because it's so far back I might not have been born yet (1981).


First Post
It's weird that D&D took so long to do that. When 3rd edition finally introduced a comprehensive skill system, other RPGs had this for something like a decade. I don't even know which RPG introduced skills because it's so far back I might not have been born yet (1981).

Traveller (1977) and Runequest (1978).

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