By that logic there should only be a single Knowledge skill.
Not at all. Athletics and Acrobatics are quite clearly different things. But lifting is a form of athletic action
. You use the same muscle groups for lifting (and all the things you described) as you would for something like swimming, climbing, digging, or all sorts of other things. Just about the only thing this "lifting" skill wouldn't
cover would be stuff involving running or walking!
Conversely, knowing the creatures of nature tells you diddly-squat about magic. Those are, in fact, actually distinct things. Much like Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate, or Insight and Perception.
Further, splitting apart things to an excessive degree of fineness was pretty clearly an error of the 3e skill list. Having separate Listen and Spot skills (instead of just using contextual modifiers...which it already had anyway
), or separate Hide and Move Silently skills, or separate Climb/Jump/Ride/Swim, or heck just the Use Rope
skill in and of itself--all of this specificity added little to nothing and just compounded the already serious "build your whole character 1-20 before you roll your first check" problems of 3rd edition.
Like, I get it. I get that there's value in specificity--if my stupidly over-long posts haven't shown how much that is my jam, I don't know what will. But I just genuinely don't believe that forking these things
out into a separate "Lifting" skill meant to be distinct from "Athletics" makes sense.
Edit: Perhaps a different way of looking at it. The things you've listed, if teased out to their full extent, seem to leave the Athletics skill impoverished to the point that I don't understand why it's still a skill
. Which is the whole problem here. Nature and Arcana and such, their existence doesn't
hollow out the existence of other knowledge skills. Religious practices are a real serious thing to know about when the gods demonstrably exist. Magical effects are friggin' everywhere, it's worthwhile to have a skill about that.
Conversely, a skill I think should
exist but doesn't in the 4e system I've mentioned I enjoy? Engineering. The game kind of handwaves that as being part of Dungeoneering, but I always thought that was dumb. Engineering covers both construction (the only part that overlaps with Dungeoneering) and devices
, machinery, design, physical manipulation of the environment via tools (block and tackle, pulleys, etc.) That's an actual separate discipline from all the extant knowledge skills and one that can, and should, be relevant some
of the time.
Military stuff, on the other hand? That's History, as is anything--ANYTHING--regarding past events, including cultural traditions and a bunch of other stuff (though complete details on, say, ancient religious practices might require Religion.) Anything--ANYTHING--that uses magic should have at least some
intersection with Arcana (but "full details" might require Religion for divine magic or Nature for primal.) Anything--ANYTHING--that involves physical exertion is either Athletics if you use bodily strength and Acrobatics if you use quickness and agility.
That's what I mean when I say these skills are ultra-broad. They're huge chunks of stuff, so investing into them is almost always worthwhile and useful.