5E When will WotC support unlinking abilities and skills?

dnd4vr

Adventurer
This is something I thought about when reviewing the new UA Paladin pdf and saw this:

Peerless Athlete. You can use your Channel Divinity to augment your athleticism with divine favor. As a bonus action, you gain advantage on all Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks for the next 10 minutes.

Many tables (hopefully) support combining skills with different ability scores, breaking the "link" between the most common skill uses and the ability score. The UA feature specifies the typical "Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics)". But as myself and others have pointed out, the game supports other combinations.

You want to sprint? Use DEX (Athletics). You want to run a marathon? Use CON (Athletics). You want to grapple a target with a lock, which doesn't require much strength? Use DEX (Athletics). You want to do a handstand? Use STR (Acrobatics).

Sure, you can argue these could all fall under the default STR (Athletics) and DEX (Acrobatics) instead, but I can just as easily justify why they could be, and should be otherwise.

For the UA Paladin feature, Peerless Athlete, why not just make it advantage on all Athletics and Acrobatics checks? I know if we use it, we will. :)

Just sharing some thoughts... thanks for reading.
 

fedosu

Garbage Bear
This is the templating that they use to refer to skill checks this edition. The rules never refer to Acrobatics checks, they always refer to Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks. The reason is that technically all skill checks are ability checks with a skill proficiency or expertise or anything sitting on top of the ability check as additional modifiers.
Using the optional rules for different abilities would override this association.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
This is the templating that they use to refer to skill checks this edition. The rules never refer to Acrobatics checks, they always refer to Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks. The reason is that technically all skill checks are ability checks with a skill proficiency or expertise or anything sitting on top of the ability check as additional modifiers.
Using the optional rules for different abilities would override this association.
Yeah, I understand that. Maybe Peerless Athlete should work for all STR and DEX checks instead of Athletics and Acrobatics then?
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
As has been mentioned that is the normal way of wording skill checks.

Using different abilities for the same skill is an optinal rule in the DMG. More people should actually read the DMG.

Just from these boards alone common sense is not at all common.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Yeah, I understand that. Maybe Peerless Athlete should work for all STR and DEX checks instead of Athletics and Acrobatics then?
Individual DMs are free to use whatever combination they F'ing want because this is an optional rule in the DMG.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Individual DMs are free to use whatever combination they F'ing want because this is an optional rule in the DMG.
Yikes! What is with the hostility?

Sure, it is an optional rule, which happens to make the most sense and avoids scenarios which otherwise don't make any sense.
 

Elfcrusher

Adventurer
As has been mentioned that is the normal way of wording skill checks.

Using different abilities for the same skill is an optinal rule in the DMG. More people should actually read the DMG.
While true, I wouldn’t mind seeing them encourage it’s use.

Just from these boards alone common sense is not at all common.
I know, right?!?! You’d think people would respond civilly and rationally to ideas they don’t agree with...that’s just common sense...but instead some people are so quick to go into attack mode.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
Yikes! What is with the hostility?
No hostility bruv. I am Australian :)

Sure, it is an optional rule, which happens to make the most sense and avoids scenarios which otherwise don't make any sense.
Wizards words their class features according to what will be the most common applications. Edge cases are free to use the optional rules.
 

Xenonnonex

Adventurer
While true, I wouldn’t mind seeing them encourage it’s use.



I know, right?!?! You’d think people would respond civilly and rationally to ideas they don’t agree with...that’s just common sense...but instead some people are so quick to go into attack mode.
See above.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
When? The PHB where they list it as a variant. For simplicity they use the std rule in products.
This is something I thought about when reviewing the new UA Paladin pdf and saw this:

Peerless Athlete. You can use your Channel Divinity to augment your athleticism with divine favor. As a bonus action, you gain advantage on all Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks for the next 10 minutes.

Many tables (hopefully) support combining skills with different ability scores, breaking the "link" between the most common skill uses and the ability score. The UA feature specifies the typical "Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics)". But as myself and others have pointed out, the game supports other combinations.

You want to sprint? Use DEX (Athletics). You want to run a marathon? Use CON (Athletics). You want to grapple a target with a lock, which doesn't require much strength? Use DEX (Athletics). You want to do a handstand? Use STR (Acrobatics).

Sure, you can argue these could all fall under the default STR (Athletics) and DEX (Acrobatics) instead, but I can just as easily justify why they could be, and should be otherwise.

For the UA Paladin feature, Peerless Athlete, why not just make it advantage on all Athletics and Acrobatics checks? I know if we use it, we will. :)

Just sharing some thoughts... thanks for reading.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
When? The PHB where they list it as a variant. For simplicity they use the std rule in products.
Or they could have just made it the default (supporting it) instead of a variant (as an aside for making logical ability-skill connections). It isn't really a difficult concept to grasp and in products they could list the linked combinations they felt most applicable or appropriate to the task or feature or whatever.
 

Unwise

Adventurer
I don't think that WotC need to be too explict about supporting this. The people that want to use it a fair bit will do so undeterred by them always giving a stat-skill descriptor. New people will find that easier, experienced DMs will not care.

Personally I tend to keep unusual combinations of stats-skills as DM decisions, rather than encouraging everybody to try and shoehorn their best stats into other situations. Dex builds are the worst for this, they just cannot comprehend that Str has advantages they don't. Athletics skill gives a solid bit of balance between Str and Dex builds. In so many games I see people just letting PCs use Dex for anything physical, then complain it is overpowered.

My most common odd combo is Cha-Stealth. It is used a lot when you are trying to sneak through a crowded bar or a market place. It is not about not being seen, it is about not being noticed, or acting like you belong there with a purpose.

Religion-Wisdom is also used extensively for practical application of religion, like meditating on teachings trying to find your god's will, or praying at a blessed idol. Religion-Int is just for knowing stuff about religions, or what the scriptures actually say.
 

Bawylie

A very OK person
Mostly I just ask players to make ability checks without reference to their skills.

Give me a strength check, I’ll say.
17 with athletics, they’ll reply.

Mostly I’m not too fussed with it. If you take a fear that makes you a great athlete, I’m not gonna haggle over when it kicks in, provided you’re doing something physical.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Or they could have just made it the default (supporting it) instead of a variant (as an aside for making logical ability-skill connections). It isn't really a difficult concept to grasp and in products they could list the linked combinations they felt most applicable or appropriate to the task or feature or whatever.
They didn't make it the default because the playtest probably showed that the majority of players preferred it that way. One of the playtest options had the DM call for ability checks, and the players offered up proficiencies and how they thought it might be relevant (this was overall hated, but I loved it).

Logically, for anyone who uses the variant (as every DM I know does), it's not that hard to decide if an ability is appropriate or not. An Int (Acrobatics) to recall the name of a famous acrobat wouldn't apply the Peerless Athlete ability, but a Str (Acrobatics) check to juggle cannonballs would.
 

Cap'n Kobold

Adventurer
Yeah, I understand that. Maybe Peerless Athlete should work for all STR and DEX checks instead of Athletics and Acrobatics then?
I was considering that, but wasn't sure about applications like Sleight of Hand and Stealth. - Probably still justifiable. - If I thought it needed a bit more oomph, I might throw in Con checks as well.

I generally do allow unlinking Abilities and skill proficiencies, but I do see that it is an optional rule, and thus will not be directly referenced in base material. I believe that they're going on the basis that a DM who has chosen to allow it can also adjudicate this ability on that basis.
 

THESQUEE

Villager
I read your post and I think you miss the point.

Dungeons and Dragons shouldn't be about following the rules that wotc has laid out to the letter. This is a game of imagination, and the written rules are made to channel your imagination into a table top game.

If wotc suggests that paladins can channel the power of their god into a divine bonus on acrobatics and athleticism, it should be self evident to you and the dm and your party as to what qualifies as acrobatics or athleticism. You really don't need wotc to spell this out for you.

Reference the rules to see what a level appropriate bonus would be, and use them to lay out a baseline for what the ability does. But use common sense, logic, and FUN to ultimately determine what the bonuses are and what they should apply to.

And there's a caveat there, too. Wotc has never been good with balance, in anything they have ever created. In this instance partially because games of this nature are very hard to balance without very extensive play testing. Some things are comically overpowered while others are drastically undertuned. You don't need to wait for them to step in and offer a fix or rework. Work with your group to find a solution that everyone enjoys. cough ranger cough

I know there's a lot of rules lawyers and offical wotc rules junkies, and you guys really suck the life out of this game. Use the rules to guide your imagination, not shackle it. That's what good DnD should be about. I've played this game long enough to know that I'm absolutely right here.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I read your post and I think you miss the point.

{snip}

I know there's a lot of rules lawyers and offical wotc rules junkies, and you guys really suck the life out of this game. Use the rules to guide your imagination, not shackle it. That's what good DnD should be about. I've played this game long enough to know that I'm absolutely right here.
I love when people use the "I've been playing long enough" line. I didn't miss the point at all. I've been playing a long time too, longer than most, but that isn't the issue. The issue is tables get into problems when they feel, rightly or wrongly, that a skill is locked into an ability. WotC's format fosters this, and in application the selected linked pair is normally fine, but there are may times when it isn't (hence the variant rule).

My point is the variant rule is what follows common sense. The issue with it, as others have pointed out, is that some players try to shoehorn a check into a pair that really doesn't make sense--yet they try to argue it to the DM because they feel they are right (or in many cases simply want the proficiency bonus).

There is also the variant where you have proficiency in all skills under an ability score and get proficiency based on background. How would Peerless Athlete work for tables using that variant? Yeah, it is up to the DM/table to decide, and following a short discussion probably isn't too hard to come to a consensus.

D&D has always been about flexibility. Even in the beginning Gygax said "hey, these are the rules we came up with, use what works for you and if not don't use it." My point is, especially for newer players, I've seen too much where they feel locked into those pairs and I explain to them there are alternatives and they don't have to play that way (see the making monks cool thread).

Also, all that being said, D&D is best played in whatever manner is the most fun for the table. On that we will certainly agree. :)
 
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