log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E Why don't more classes grant bonus skills?

GlassJaw

Adventurer
Just a random thought/observation while doing some design work lately.

Why doesn't the Wizard get proficiency in Arcana for free?
Why doesn't the Druid or Ranger get Nature or Survival?
Why doesn't the Beast Master doesn't get Animal Handling?

Nature domain gets a choice of a skill, including Nature and Survival.
Knowledge domain gets two Int skills!
Also weird that Trickery domain doesn't get Stealth.

The ranger is the biggest offender since a lot of its features are tied to Survival. Would a ranger player ever not take Survival? Same with a wizard and Arcana?

Anyway, just throwing that out there. :unsure::LOL:
 

log in or register to remove this ad

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
LOL I have no idea why not. They should, since 4 base skills (90%) of the time is laughable. Having classes grant one or even two "free" skill plus a selection as normal won't hurt anything.

Now, some features grant skills, but not nearly that many.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Just a random thought/observation while doing some design work lately.

Why doesn't the Wizard get proficiency in Arcana for free?
Why doesn't the Druid or Ranger get Nature or Survival?
Why doesn't the Beast Master doesn't get Animal Handling?

Nature domain gets a choice of a skill, including Nature and Survival.
Knowledge domain gets two Int skills!
Also weird that Trickery domain doesn't get Stealth.

The ranger is the biggest offender since a lot of its features are tied to Survival. Would a ranger player ever not take Survival? Same with a wizard and Arcana?

Anyway, just throwing that out there. :unsure::LOL:
My guess, and this is deeply a guess, is that it’s because 4e did that, and the skill list already looked a bit like 4e (more like it that any other edition), and that caused negative feedback when they (IIRC) floated the idea during the playtest .
 

Benjamin Olson

Adventurer
Why can Warlocks choose to not take Eldritch Blast? It's so that people can build the character they want. Rangers get a third class skill pick so I would hardly call them the worst offender, given that that is 1 more class skill pick than 10 out of the 13 classes get.

That said, I think there should probably be a point at level 6 or something where each class gets proficiency in a core class skill, or expertise if they already have it. That way a Wizard can become a leading authority in Arcana without multiclassing and every Wizard eventually knows a few things about Arcana. Even if you don't want to be "that kind of wizard", I'm sorry at some point you know a few things about magic; that's what the class does.
 

GlassJaw

Adventurer
I understand that the designers didn't want to grant more skills at 1st level so as not to water down the already somewhat reduced skill list. 5E strikes a delicate balance between offering choices but not too much, and when it doubt, the designers favored less choice.

I 100% there needs to be a universal mechanic for gaining new skill proficiencies or increasing your proficiency bonus (like Expertise). If there was, there would be more space to grant specific skills to classes from the start. But that's another discussion.

I just find some of the design choices a bit odd, especially in cases where a class has abilities that are directly tied to skills (like the ranger and rogue). I don't think it's a coincidence that the ranger has undergone so many tweaks, including removing the double proficiency bonus from Natural Explorer.
 

Azzy

Newtype
Personally I've always felt like PCs should be able to pick up a new skill along side every normal ASI or so. But there's almost too few skills to support that.
I've pondered a house rule that gives character the option to select a new skill proficiency, tool proficiency, or language every 3 levels (starting at 3rd level). This is similar to how 2e granted new nonweapon proficiencies.

I haven't playtested it, though.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've pondered a house rule that gives character the option to select a new skill proficiency, tool proficiency, or language every 3 levels (starting at 3rd level). This is similar to how 2e granted new nonweapon proficiencies.

I haven't playtested it, though.
I'd been considering the same, though a bit more spaced out, and also including a new save proficiency at at least levels 11 and 17.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I've pondered a house rule that gives character the option to select a new skill proficiency, tool proficiency, or language every 3 levels (starting at 3rd level). This is similar to how 2e granted new nonweapon proficiencies.

I haven't playtested it, though.
I've offered in other threads the idea of gaining something at each new tier, so 5th, 11th, and 17th. @doctorbadwolf has offered similar ideas.

IMO three bumps offers enough to show progress without so much that it becomes, well, "too much". Each bump can offer a skill or similar. I think even doing a save as an option at 11 and 17 as @doctorbadwolf suggests might be ok--it might be borderline too much as a lot of class features offer saves, so it sort of takes away from them a bit. I guess it just depends on how much stronger you want to make PCs as skills are one thing, saves are quite another. :)
 

ZeshinX

Explorer
I've pondered a house rule that gives character the option to select a new skill proficiency, tool proficiency, or language every 3 levels (starting at 3rd level). This is similar to how 2e granted new nonweapon proficiencies.
I currently use a houserule akin to this. PCs can choose a new skill every 4 levels (4th, 8th, etc). Originally I had it so they got a new skill/tool proficiency when they received an ASI via class, but Fighters being the skill monkeys felt entirely off, so switched it to just every 4 levels for all. Far from perfect, but works well enough.

I find the lack of ability to learn new skills one of 5e's major weaknesses. Sure, you have the Skilled feat, but yeesh. I'm all for simplicity, but 5e's entire skill system leaves a LOT to be desired. Keep the system as it functions, but with a wider array of skills and means to gain them via progression as well. Even 2e, for all its warts, had that option.
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I sometimes think the expectation in 5E is to progress from level 1 to 20 so quickly in game time that learning new skills, etc. generally aren't possible. There are rules for downtime, but something during adventures should be added IMO. A lot of groups seem to want such things, and I think even the ones who aren't seeking it won't rebel against the idea.
 

That said, I think there should probably be a point at level 6 or something where each class gets proficiency in a core class skill, or expertise if they already have it. That way a Wizard can become a leading authority in Arcana without multiclassing and every Wizard eventually knows a few things about Arcana. Even if you don't want to be "that kind of wizard", I'm sorry at some point you know a few things about magic; that's what the class does.
I'll agree with this with a caveat. I think it should be half proficiency at 6, then full proficiency at 12. You'll pick up some along the way, and then eventually you're going to know it the further you progress. There are a lot of little things like this that I think 5E should have incorporated.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I've offered in other threads the idea of gaining something at each new tier, so 5th, 11th, and 17th. @doctorbadwolf has offered similar ideas.

IMO three bumps offers enough to show progress without so much that it becomes, well, "too much". Each bump can offer a skill or similar. I think even doing a save as an option at 11 and 17 as @doctorbadwolf suggests might be ok--it might be borderline too much as a lot of class features offer saves, so it sort of takes away from them a bit. I guess it just depends on how much stronger you want to make PCs as skills are one thing, saves are quite another. :)
Yeah saves are a sticky wicket. I'm glad there are so many of them in 5e, because only 1 player option gives eventual proficiency in all of them, IIRC. Maybe 11 and 17 gives you half-proficiency in a save of your choice? That probably works better.

And then, 5, 11, 14, and 17 give 1 skill and two skills or language?
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
Yeah saves are a sticky wicket. I'm glad there are so many of them in 5e, because only 1 player option gives eventual proficiency in all of them, IIRC. Maybe 11 and 17 gives you half-proficiency in a save of your choice? That probably works better.

And then, 5, 11, 14, and 17 give 1 skill and two skills or language?
Sure. If I did anything with a save, I would make it 11th. And then at 5th and 17th you get a skill, tool, language, kit, etc. proficiency.

My points earlier in other threads aren't to give PCs a lot, but something that can represent their increased use of skills, saves, etc. during their adventuring career without having to use valuable ASI/feats to represent it. IMO one additional save at 11th and a couple extra skills, languages, etc. would be sufficient, but if people wanted more, just do them along with the standard ASIs at 4, 8, 12, 16, 19. Maybe 12th could be the "save" level, and the rest some other proficiency. It just depends on how much your table wants really.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure. If I did anything with a save, I would make it 11th. And then at 5th and 17th you get a skill, tool, language, kit, etc. proficiency.

My points earlier in other threads aren't to give PCs a lot, but something that can represent their increased use of skills, saves, etc. during their adventuring career without having to use valuable ASI/feats to represent it. IMO one additional save at 11th and a couple extra skills, languages, etc. would be sufficient, but if people wanted more, just do them along with the standard ASIs at 4, 8, 12, 16, 19. Maybe 12th could be the "save" level, and the rest some other proficiency. It just depends on how much your table wants really.
What if you get a free bonus feat at character level 11 and 17? Then, if a character wants more proficiency they can do that, and if they want a new save prof they can take resilient?

If necessary, limit the feat list to those feats and stuff like linguist and actor and athlete?
 

auburn2

Explorer
I think they don't want to "railroad" you into taking a skill. Yeah they could give the wizard arcana for free and then only let him pick one other skill, but why do that?

I also disagree completely about Ranger, aside from the fact they get 3 skills (one more than most classes), they also get double proficiency in their favored terrain and other abilities that let them bypass nature-based checks all together.

The trickery domain gets advantage on stealth checks, which is better than proficiency. Likely the character is already proficient too.

I think RAW does pretty good on skills. If you look at the monster manual - PCs, even the "non-skill" classes like fighter and wizard still end up with way more skills than most monsters (including comparable NPC humans).

If you want a skill monkey, options are there to do that. A standard half-elf Rogue is going to start with about 8 skills, a vairant human can start with 10 if he takes the skilled feat. Said Rogue can pick up even more down the road through feats, multiclassing or subclassing into scout. If you want lots of skills, or diverse skills, or even extra bonuses like expertise, those choices are available through multiple avenues. You give up other things to get them, but that is how it should be. Giving out extra free skills to everyone devalues the choices made by players that choose skills over ASIs or other race/class abilities.

People talk about the cost giving up ASIs to get a skill or giving up on other racial abilities to get the 2 skills from the standard half elf. From a combat power perspective there is certainly a price to pay, but while players with a lot of skills are perhaps inferior in combat because of those choices, they are more useful and versatile in the game outside of combat and in my experience more fun to play.
 
Last edited:

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
What if you get a free bonus feat at character level 11 and 17? Then, if a character wants more proficiency they can do that, and if they want a new save prof they can take resilient?

If necessary, limit the feat list to those feats and stuff like linguist and actor and athlete?
You could do something like that, of course, but to my way of thinking it just complicates the issue. Players would probably want to take some feat or other, and if you only have those on a list, why not just use the things granted by the feats on the list?

I love feats (as many gamers do) but for me what makes them so special is their rarity. Given too many of them, and they start to lose some of their appeal.

Finally, I would only offer one save for "free" (somewhere in tier 3, since that is a plausible level to reach I think but not easy) because PCs begin with two, that would give them a third. Many subclasses also give a save, making 4 not that hard to get. And of course, resilient would grant a 5th! Thus you could have a PC with 5 saves before a monk gets diamond soul! Sure, they put a lot into it, but still....
 

dnd4vr

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
If you look at the monster manual, players, even the "non-skill" classes like fighter and wizard still end up with way more skills than most monsters (including comparable NPC humans).
Actually, I think this is a sign of how pitiable those monsters and NPCs are. I think just about every monster and NPC should have at least one save and two skills. I was shocked, for instance, to see a Drow Mage had NO save proficiencies, not one! :eek:
 


Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top