Morkus from Orkus
As a flat bonus, it would probably be +5. The Observant feat is only worth half of an ASI and not only gives +5 to passive perception and investigation, arguable the best skills in the game, but also perfect lip reading if you understand the language. Is a class ability worth half an ASI? I would think so.I think a few minor tweaks to the skill system would have been beneficial:
- Codify 'Expertise' as a thing, and just have it be a flat bonus. Rogues get a bunch of them, the Champion gets Expertise in Athletics or Acrobatics, the Wizard gets Expertise in Arcana, some subclass could give it out, etc. It'd be pretty useful. I dunno if the bonus would be a flat 2 or a flat 3 (like it was in 4e)... Heck, you could even replace the Archery Fighting style as 'Expertise in X weapons with a specific property' or something like that. So you could have a true Swordmaster who has better attacks than anybody else while using a Longsword and stuff.
This is already the case. RAW says that the players just describe what their character is doing. The DM calls for a check if one is necessary.- Better skill use examples in the PHB. Maybe help get people to stop declaring what skills they want to roll for before they explain what they want to do?
I agree with this.- Better emphasis on the idea that Stats and Skills aren't always linked and that sometimes your DM will call for a different roll like Strength Intimidate or Intelligence Insight. Give ACTUAL examples of how that would work. Really lean into the concept for more than a fleeting paragraph ya know?
I agree with this as well.- Not skill related, but mention that more tools than those listed in the PHB can exist. Emphasize that 'tool proficiency' can sub for almost any profession or craft you can think of. Then introduce a few setting specific ones as time goes on. Like if there's a setting where you need to use a special kind of compass and coded map to navigate parts of it, etc.