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Skills - what is your preference

What sort of skill system would you prefer to have in D&D Next?

  • No skills; everything is depend on ability scores and your own problem-solving skill (C&C)

    Votes: 6 5.7%
  • No skills; just ability scores with minor circumstance modifiers (current version of D&D Next)

    Votes: 43 40.6%
  • A large list of specialized skills (3.x, Pathfinder)

    Votes: 14 13.2%
  • A reduced list of skills that cover broad areas of expertise (4E)

    Votes: 32 30.2%
  • Lemoncurry/other

    Votes: 11 10.4%

  • Total voters
    106

Sammael

Adventurer
As it stands, skills in D&D Next are relegated to minor circumstantial bonuses that your character may or may not get as he or she progresses.

EVERYTHING in the game will depend pretty much exclusively on your ability scores.

So, after 10 levels of adventuring, your ability to climb will still be decided mostly by your Strength score. Sure, I'm certain that they will have ways for you to increase your Strength score - but that will also make you better at fighting, whether you actually did any fighting or not.

In essence, there will be 6 skills in the game: the Strength skill, the Dexterity skill, the Constitution skill, the Intelligence skill, the Wisdom skill, and the Charisma skill.

Even if you do get a circumstance bonus to one minor aspect of a skill (for instance, a +2 to History), your check for everything else will be the same.

An intelligent character will be equally adept at the foundations of magic, monster knowledge, history, geography, architecture, laws, planes, and so on.

Furthermore, if your character is not intelligent, he will never be able to become an expert in any one of those areas. No matter how many monsters he ends up slaying, skinning, and tracking, he'll always be inferior in monster knowledge to the high-Int wizard who spends his whole life in a tower.

Am I the only one bothered by this? Let's find out.
 

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Transformer

First Post
As it stands, skills in D&D Next are relegated to minor circumstantial bonuses that your character may or may not get as he or she progresses.

I would say this is a slight exaggeration based on the article. My impression was that classes and themes (and races?) will grant quite a few 'skill' bonuses to different things; especially classes like the rogue.

But yes, I am bothered by the new skill system, unless we're missing something huge. In fact, this seems like the most controversial thing Wizards has announced so far; controversial enough that I could see it changing before final release if we keep complaining about it.
 

avin

First Post
I care a lot about skills in GURPS and Storyteller.

In D&D not too much.

As long as characters are able to open doors, disable device, break doors, bluff, intimidate, use diplomacy, etc, I don't really care that much how they do it.
 


I'm certainly not bothered by the system it looks like we're getting.

In fact it's my favourite way of doing skills. When I was writing the Dark Dungeons retro-clone a couple of years ago it's exactly how I did the skill system.

It can be summed up (in much more neutral language) as:

The DM may ask you to perform ability checks in a variety of situations. Some of these situations crop up repeatedly. You may spend skill points to get bonuses on your checks in those situations. Here's a sample list to get you going, but (with DM and player agreement) you can invent your own.
 

Sammael

Adventurer
I care a lot about skills in GURPS and Storyteller.

In D&D not too much.

As long as characters are able to open doors, disable device, break doors, bluff, intimidate, use diplomacy, etc, I don't really care that much how they do it.
I don't run or play GURPS (in fact, I don't know anyone who does around here).

I play in Storyteller games, but I'm not interested in running it.

d20/D&D is what I run. And a fully-fledged skill system is essential to my enjoyment of the game.

To be clear, I'd be fine with no skills in the core and an easily implemented skills module. But that's not what they mentioned at the seminar.

They specifically said that even though people expected to see class and theme-based skill bonuses, they weren't there. Classes will add additional features (essentially tricks from Complete Scoundrel), such as the ability to sneak at full speed and so on.
 

TwinBahamut

First Post
I'm not voting in the poll since I both like the sound of the new skill system but don't think the poll options describe it properly...

There certainly seems like there is a skill system at play in the new edition, just one that is very different from the skill system seen in 3E. Honestly, we don't know much about it, but I like a lot of what I've heard about it. The one thing I wanted was a skill system that removed trivial rolls of the dice and made it a clear system of either being able to do something or not, and they've done that. I wouldn't have necessarily preferred the system to work off of ability scores, but that is perfectly fair and reasonable for D&D, so I won't complain.

I'm looking forward to learning more about this system.
 

trancejeremy

First Post
That's pretty much what BECMI D&D did - at the time, I didn't like it, but in retrospect after playing 3.x for several years, I realized the d20 system was even worse.

For one, in d20, unless you adventure, you never get good at anything, because the only way to have a higher skill level is to be a higher level.

But by contrast, you could get too good at stuff, so you constantly had to inflate DCs for higher level characters.

I also don't think it weighed the ability enough (since it just used the bonus).

Ideally, I would see something that was based on one half the ability score, then one half the "skill" (which wasn't related to level, necessarily, and cap skills at 10), but this seems good enough.
 

Teataine

Explorer
Furthermore, if your character is not intelligent, he will never be able to become an expert in any one of those areas. No matter how many monsters he ends up slaying, skinning, and tracking, he'll always be inferior in monster knowledge to the high-Int wizard who spends his whole life in a tower.

Am I the only one bothered by this? Let's find out.
More bothered that a character could get better at basketweaving or knowing about religion by killing monsters?

No, I'm not in the least bothered, it's exactly how I think skills in D&D should work. In fact, it's not dissimilar to how Non Weapon Proficiencies worked. If they end up changing the skill system to something else, then I'll probably opt not to use the skill module at all.

Also, I think you could turn your example around. A non-intelligent character can learn about monsters by picking up the Knowledge: Monsters (or whatever) skill chunks. He's still stupid, but he knows about monsters, from experience. Think of it this way: If a stupid character tries to learn about monsters (+2 skill or whatever), he'll know more about monsters than an equally stupid but uneducated character. But if an intelligent character learns about monsters, then he learns more, and more efficiently, remembering more, having a higher total.

"A wizard that spends all his days in the tower" just doesn't happen. PCs are adventurers, they don't live in towers doing nothing at all. Either way an intelligent wizard is someone who reads a lot, studies, is quick at learning and observing. He knows stuff. That's why he has a high intelligence.

You can't have a lot of effective muscle mass if you don't exercise. So a high strength score (effectiveness) implies that those muscles get some working. Same for intelligence. A high stat implies use.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
I'm not voting in the poll since I both like the sound of the new skill system but don't think the poll options describe it properly...

...

I'm looking forward to learning more about this system.
I'm going to agree with these points. I haven't seen enough of this new approach to justify the idea that skills are being shortchanged in the system they're alluding to. That may be the case, but I don't think they'd be dumb enough to kill skills. I'll be interested to actually see it.

In principle, it sounds like some more flexible systems I've seen in other light rpgs, which can actually increase the variety of skills available.

The modifiers may be smaller, but I'm okay with that. +23 to a skill was ridiculously good if you ever thought about it. If they scale back the overall pace of advancement, a +2 skill bonus may be meaningful.
 

FinalSonicX

First Post
I'd prefer a slimmed down system similar to 3.X or Pathfinder, but not slimmed down as much as 4e. I want less specific skills enumerated explicitly like Use Rope and things like that but rather I'd want a fairly slim core list with a bit of room to fill in a few others if we like.

I don't want things like Disguise and Sleight of Hand consolidated down into things like Thievery or Deception (along with Bluff) or something, since to me these are fairly niche skills but not something that every person trained in deception might know. I do NOT have an issue having listen, spot, and search being consolidated, nor do I mind hide and move silently being consolidated (much like PF). I'd prefer no skill additions if it can helped though - no Fly skill like in PF, I dislike that.

In other words, keep the idea of skills around as in 3.X but have them slimmed down a bit and try to keep the total numbers a bit lower - I'd like that. Of course, DDN looks like it will be modular, so this is just what I'd like to see one module look like.
 

mach1.9pants

Adventurer
EDIT: ignore that I see there is another transcript I haven't read, BBL :)

I seem to have brushede right over this in reading all the seminars, can some one pull out the (in)exact quotes/tweets/whatevers?
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
As the two previous posters have touched on...I am sure we will see ways to get better at climbing, and being stealthy, and maybe handling animals, crafting things, or using rope.

But it will be tied to other charecter elements. The checks themselves will probably be spelled out with the abilities, with additional guidance in the DMG.
 

Oni

First Post
I would like my characters to be broadly competent rather than afraid to try anything because their skill list is so narrow (3e Fighter and Cleric, I'm lookin' at you). So, based on what we've heard so far, I"m quite happy with their solution. I would have also been happy with something like Barbarians of Lemuria which lets you buy up background professions and be competent in any skill that falls under that background relative to your investment, so if you bought up hunter you'd use that to roll whatever was reasonably related to that background like tracking, and sneaking, and setting simple snares, and perception, et c.
 

Nivenus

First Post
My preferred method would be to have the simplicity of 4e's skill system, wit the diversity of 3e's. For example, I think it makes sense to compress highly similar skills like Hide and Move Silently into one "Stealth" skill, but I think 4e does this overzealously, effectively cutting out skills that don't fit neatly into 4e's reduce skill list. Where's the equivalent of Perform or Crafting, for example?

All in all, though, 5e's skill system intrigues me and I'll be willing to give it a try. At best, it'll accomplish more or less what I want anyway: a skill system that's easy to use and doesn't detract from the class system but which at the same time allows characters to branch out and customize their abilities. At worst, it'll be oversimplified, but I can live with that.
 

depends a bit on how it is exactly done. It is intersting to read... sounds a bit like hackmaster, which i happened to read the quick start rules today...

attack roll vs saving roll... classes give bonuses to ability scores... I definitively want to see more to make an educated decision If I like all of that or not.

Having read the whole article, I rather like the way it is handled... interestingly, races give +1 to a stat, which tells us, that the bonus to attack rolls can´t go up every 2 points of an ability score.
 
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grimslade

Doddering Old Git
Shilling for Skills

IMNSHO, 3E skills were ridiculous, too many skills and too many bonuses. It was a subsystem that rewarded hyperfocus and ignoring skills that would be advantageous outside of the adventure. It created more problems than it solved.
The shrunken skill list in 4E made the problem worse in some ways because you could now focus on skill groups to gain ridiculous advantage.
I feel like a Wizards shill, but I like this stripped down version of skills better, so far. Beta rules will tell, but I think you can get through a skill challenge easier with natural abilities and a few bonuses. The task is important not all the synergy bonuses and ranks and etc. I like reducing the roll to enhance the role. Ability check +skill bonus Go!
 

Wormwood

Adventurer
Last month I ran Microlite74 for a few people, and the 5e version is essentially what I used. During chargen I asked everyone about their backgrounds. My nephew was a soldier/deserter, my wife was a con-artist.

They could pretty much do whatever they wanted in non-stressful/plot-critical situations (I'm a big fan or say Yes), but when their bacon was on the line, they would roll d20 + stat vs my arbitrary TN. +2 if they were trying something related to their class, +2 for something related to their background.

I like it and it went very smoothly.
 

Rhenny

Adventurer
I also like what I've heard about the basic attribute plus modifier if you have knowledge or enhancement in a specific task. I think this will allow some groups to play it simply (just using the attributes), and others to add more specific modifiers for situational advancement. If there is a large list of options, and PCs can spend points as they level, this will give opportunities to make a more interesting PC.

There is at least on thing I am worried about. If the DCs for tasks (or whatever they call it in D&D Next - Novice, Expert, whatever) scale with levels, this might force the thief player to always spend points in thievery and stealth; therefore, the addition of points and different skills would be moot since the player is "forced" to spend discretionary points on class/role specific skills.
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
There is at least on thing I am worried about. If the DCs for tasks (or whatever they call it in D&D Next - Novice, Expert, whatever) scale with levels, this might force the thief player to always spend points in thievery and stealth; therefore, the addition of points and different skills would be moot since the player is "forced" to spend discretionary points on class/role specific skills.
That would indeed be a disaster. Your bonus should be how good you are. The DC should be how hard the task is. That has nothing to do with how good you are.

Thankfully, I got the sense from the transcripts that this was not the case (though I haven't found the exact quote I thought I remembered that supported this).
 

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