D&D 5E Thoughts on a skills PC.

ElterAgo

Explorer
I'm not certain what level the next campaign will go up to. So when the DM decides, that will influence my choices. The current campaign is only going to about level 10-11, but the party is also gaining growing magical powers (and curses) from an artifact. So maybe equivalent to around level 14+ or so.

I have asked the DM about ASI/feat by class or character level. I will see how he responds, but I'm guessing he will go with RAW.
 

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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Also, there's a number of battlemaster manuevers that help with skills now. A battlemaster/rogue might might a pretty solid character.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I have asked the DM about ASI/feat by class or character level. I will see how he responds, but I'm guessing he will go with RAW.
Probably they will go with RAW. Our table MCs a lot, so moving to character level instead of class level made sense for us.

Is your focus to:
1. cover all the skills with proficiency?
2. max out as many expertise skills as you can?
3. only just have a bunch of skills which you are the best at--combining high ability scores with proficiency/expertise??
 

ElterAgo

Explorer
Is your focus to:
1. cover all the skills with proficiency?
2. max out as many expertise skills as you can?
3. only just have a bunch of skills which you are the best at--combining high ability scores with proficiency/expertise??
Well, my focus is to help make sure the group has reasonable chance to succeed at skill checks. I don't necessarily need to have proficiency in every skill on my PC. I'm sure everyone will be at least decent in a few skills. So I guess what I'm thinking is:
1) Expertise in several skills which none of the other PC's have. If only my PC knows anything about nature or how to handle an animal, I should probably try to make sure I have a pretty good chance of getting a high total.
2) At least proficiency in some of the most commonly used and/or critical skills. That way if several of us are rolling say an investigation check, if a couple of us have proficiency, we have a pretty good chance to succeed.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Well, my focus is to help make sure the group has reasonable chance to succeed at skill checks. I don't necessarily need to have proficiency in every skill on my PC. I'm sure everyone will be at least decent in a few skills. So I guess what I'm thinking is:
1) Expertise in several skills which none of the other PC's have. If only my PC knows anything about nature or how to handle an animal, I should probably try to make sure I have a pretty good chance of getting a high total.
2) At least proficiency in some of the most commonly used and/or critical skills. That way if several of us are rolling say an investigation check, if a couple of us have proficiency, we have a pretty good chance to succeed.
Ok. For arguments sake, let's say there are three other PCs, each of which will excel at two skills due to proficiency and good ability scores.

That leaves potentially 10-12 skills for you to emphasize. So...
  • Human variant with Prodigy feat will get you 2 skills with 1 expertise.
  • Rogue is 4 skills, 2 more expertise
  • Background is 2 more skills.

This gets you 8 skills with 3 expertise to start at 1st level.
  • Then, depending on your liking, you can level dip in Knowledge Cleric or Ranger (for Canny from Tasha's) for 1-2 levels. Both will gain you two more skills, with Cleric giving you 2 more expertise and Ranger giving you 1 more expertise.
OR
  • I would go into Bard at this point, getting the extra skills for Lore at 3rd level (giving you 4 more skills and 2 more expertise) and finish Bard 4 for the feat if you want for Skill Expert (or Prodigy if you chose Skill Expert at 1st level).

Then return to Rogue or Bard at this point forward. Unless you feel you need to cover more skills, it is overkill to do cleric, ranger, and bard.

All four classes (Rogue, Bard, Cleric, Ranger) of course have their strengths, so which route you want to go depends on what you want.
 


The only class that I have is successfully be able to make a full-blown skill monkey out of is the barbarian and even they have a interesting little niche if you don't mind some finagling

If you look at the basic premise of what you need to be good at ability checks it boils down to: a decent static modifier, if applicable find some flat modifiers too add, a source of advantage, some form of low roll protection or reroll mechanic, and a handful of additional dice to add to the total.

A lot of features pull double duty here like expertise giving you a higher ceiling and floor for your potential checks. The reason why that particular thing is harped on so much is for a lot of the game expertise is more impactful than having a high ability score. Regardless if your DM likes lots of moderately value checks or big checks expertise is going to pull its weight.

So when you go about designing a concept that has a decent chance of passing checks themselves while also enhancing the rest of the party there are options that have this right at face value like The Bard. There's options for unfaltering consistency with the rogue. There the artificer who can combine skill Prof, with tool expertise, with magical items, with some pocket spell casting, with some last second inspiration that can out legalese a devil in a contract and are smart enough not to show it until they are long gone. Tasha's ranger. Warlocks are build a bear. One you add in multiclassing more of question of how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?
 

Iry

Hero
Yeah, Tasha Ranger is a nice 1 level dip for Expertise in a single skill, Favored Foe, Medium Armor, Shields, an extra skill trained. And then either Scout or Soulknife until you get Reliable Talent.
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
However, non-combat hasn't gone so well. My warlock was a pretty good 'face' character (if I do say so myself), with a high deception and persuasion. Though even then, a bad roll means failure against most any Joe-Schmoe. We especially can't seem to make a skill check for investigate, arcana, history, religion, nature, insight, etc...
Maybe try reminding your DM that 5e is "rulings, not rules?" Or more to your dilemma, " rulings, not rolls. " Also, skill checks haven't been in the game since 4e (although I wouldn't be surprised if some rebellious #WotCstaff refuse to let them go).
 

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