Why no Warfare skill?

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I would just like to say, I love 4e.  But I'm wondering if there isn't a gap in the skill list where a Warfare skill should have been.  The other class "Professions" have defining skills.  Rogues have Thievery, Rangers have nature, Magic-users have Arcane, Divine users have Religion.  Why no Warfare for Fighter types?  I would have liked a way to allow characters to pull off exploits not defined by their Powers by rolling a Warfare check.  Or allow my Warlord to have a Warfare skill challenege to find the weakness in a fortification.  I know I could just add it, and I think I'm going to, but I'm curious as to why it wasn't in the skill list from the beginning.

Anyone have any thoughts?

--Phlod
im not seeing anything that coudlnt already be done by esitsing skills.

Detect fortification issues: Dungeoneering

Exploits: Athletics or Acrobatics.

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I like it.  It could let you have information on tactics and common weapons of a region, nation, or race.
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I like it.  It could let you have information on tactics and common weapons of a region, nation, or race.



Covered by History.

I like it.  It could let you have information on tactics and common weapons of a region, nation, or race.



Covered by History.



Lots of skills have overlap.  You could probably pull religion out of history if you wanted.
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Why no Cooking skill?  Why no Gambling skill?  Why no Sailing skill?  Why no Underwater Basketweaving skill?

At some point you stop including skills.  Otherwise there are infinite poorly defined skills rather than a small list of well defined skills.

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I like it.  It could let you have information on tactics and common weapons of a region, nation, or race.



Covered by History.



Lots of skills have overlap.  You could probably pull religion out of history if you wanted.



WEll yeah, but this is building a skill just because.  It would be like adding a "Shadow Stuff" skill because the shadow classes have no defining skill.

And there is probably a lot less overlap then you think. 

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My pet peeve has always been with heavy armor wearers and skills.  Basically, if you wear plate you have the benefit of wearing PLATE, which is great armor but not only do you not get an AC bonus from DEX or INT but you have a movement penalty and penalties to SKILLS that other types of characters just don't have.  It always struck me as the heavy armor types getting screwed - especially when a hide wearer can come within 1 point of a plate wearer at 30th level and doesn't suffer penalties to movement or skills.

I don't see the Controller getting skill penalties for being effective at mass damage or the Leader getting skill penalties for being effective at healing ... but the heavy armor Defender gets skill penalties for being effective at taking attacks for his friends.

Now, as for the Warfare skill idea - I've thought the same thing at times, but never in 4e.  I always think of that in Pathfinder.  Magicky types can get Knowledge for everything or almost everything even remotely related to anything magical and spam knowledge checks all day long about anything ... but does the Fighter have Knowledge in the thing he's best at - combat?  Nope.  He gets things like swimming, climbing ... all of which are gimped because of his armor.

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"Warfare" seems like something that could easily be done with another skills. Having knowledge about historical wars and battles is history, knowing about positioning troops in certain

BTW, i think "thievery" is a poor concept for a skill too and have eliminated from my games. I just don't see someone disarming crazy traps being automatically good at picking someone's pocket. Since i have mechanical technology in my game, picking locks and disarming traps has been rolled into Mechanics, which also deals with knowledge of mechanical monsters and devices, while pickpocketing has been rolled into Stealth.
WEll yeah, but this is building a skill just because.  It would be like adding a "Shadow Stuff" skill because the shadow classes have no defining skill.


I don't think it's really "just because."  At least, no more just because as most skills.  It has a niche, applications, is suitably adventure-esque.  I don't necessarilly think we need it just to define a fighter by his skill.  But I know I would choose it over history on my warlord.

It's something that seems to be applicable to a broad class of character archetypes.  Those with a military background.
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"Warfare" seems like something that could easily be done with another skills. Having knowledge about historical wars and battles is history, knowing about positioning troops in certain

BTW, i think "thievery" is a poor concept for a skill too and have eliminated from my games. I just don't see someone disarming crazy traps being automatically good at picking someone's pocket. Since i have mechanical technology in my game, picking locks and disarming traps has been rolled into Mechanics, which also deals with knowledge of mechanical monsters and devices, while pickpocketing has been rolled into Stealth.



Do you separate out Climbing and Swimming from Athletics? Those are two vastly different modes of movement whose only link is muscle mass (just like Picking Locks and Pockets only link is dexterous hands).
I've found most uses for a Warfare skill to be applications of History. The rest are generally too niche to warrant a skill of their own and can be done with an appropriate Ability Check (with a background bonus where applicable)
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I think the bigger issue is that you have other classes that get "free" skills where classes like the fighter get to pick a mighty 3.

To make matters worse for the fighter, if they focused on CON & STR then derived skill modifers is smaller than someone who say focused on DEX and INT

It would be a great application of History - assuming history was even a class skill for the Fighter. 
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I've found most uses for a Warfare skill to be applications of History. The rest are generally too niche to warrant a skill of their own and can be done with an appropriate Ability Check (with a background bonus where applicable)

Yeah, same here. If your background is something akin to 'soldier' then get a +2 History bonus for knowing military stuff. Want to give orders to troops? CHA check with a +2. 'Warfare' is a pretty broad thing anyway. History is broad too, but at least it is an area of knowledge in some coherent sense. Warfare would have to cover a lot of unrelated stuff. No one guy knows how to set up a camp, drill troops, build siege engines, lead an attack, set an ambush, etc all in one. Even the great conquerors of history like Ceasar had guys that did all that detail stuff. I could see 'strategy' being an area of knowledge in a sense, but there are 100 others at the same level and they aren't really adventuring skills per-se. Again, if you have a background for your character that indicates you have experience with that kind of thing, then maybe WIS check +2 or whatever. Once you go down the slippery slope of having skills for every little thing, you're right back to the long skill list and that is a short but steep slope...
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Do you separate out Climbing and Swimming from Athletics? Those are two vastly different modes of movement whose only link is muscle mass (just like Picking Locks and Pockets only link is dexterous hands).



Being generally good in Athletic activities seems a much less arbitrary categorical grouping than lumpling knowledge of mechanical devices and picking pockets together.

Actually, look at this way: which makes more sense, having a skill that encompasses locksmithing, traps and slight of hand (Theivery) or the way i have it where the sneaking actions like slight of hand are rolled into one skill (Stealth) while the mechanical actions are rolled into a dedicated skill (Mechanics)?

History is broad too, but at least it is an area of knowledge in some coherent sense. Warfare would have to cover a lot of unrelated stuff. No one guy knows how to set up a camp, drill troops, build siege engines, lead an attack, set an ambush, etc all in one. Even the great conquerors of history like Ceasar had guys that did all that detail stuff.


Isn't that a problem Religion has as a knowledge skill?  Sure, you know the practices and history of your chosen deity, but why would a Helmite know about the ceremonial robes worn by followers of Asmodeus?

Further, someone with skill in history shouldn't know about foreign regions' histories just because.  History is only a single area of knowledge in a broad context, too.

Oh well, my position seems outnumbered.   
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Covered by History.

Agreed. The previous concensus in 3.5e was that "Knowledge: Warfare" was too granular, and should be treated as a sub category of History. Paladins have this as a class skill, but fighters would need to add it via a background pick or somesuch. Of course, fighters do have intimidate, which could still be used for a lot of warfare related leadership tasks.

Do you separate out Climbing and Swimming from Athletics? Those are two vastly different modes of movement whose only link is muscle mass (just like Picking Locks and Pockets only link is dexterous hands).



Being generally good in Athletic activities seems a much less arbitrary categorical grouping than lumpling knowledge of mechanical devices and picking pockets together.

Actually, look at this way: which makes more sense, having a skill that encompasses locksmithing, traps and slight of hand (Theivery) or the way i have it where the sneaking actions like slight of hand are rolled into one skill (Stealth) while the mechanical actions are rolled into a dedicated skill (Mechanics)?




I also favor this approach, although I separate sleight of hand and picking pockets into bluff and stealth respectively. The primary complaint I have gotten is that to be a traditional rogue you now need to be trained in engineering (for picking locks and disabling traps), stealth, bluff, and perception. The rogue has plenty of skills to handle that though, so I don't really feel like that is very compelling.
Isn't that a problem Religion has as a knowledge skill?  Sure, you know the practices and history of your chosen deity, but why would a Helmite know about the ceremonial robes worn by followers of Asmodeus?


Because they are all part of the same pantheon.  This isn't a world of many religions.  There's one religion with many deities.  A cleric of Hermes would be familiar with the teachings of Hera. 

If you create a campaign world with incompatible religions, then I would definitely contemplate additional mechanics to reflect that unfamiliarity of one priest with the teachings of another religion.  Or, heck, just eliminate automatic training in Religion for divine classes.  Presume that priests know their own religion, but make them train to learn other people's religions.  Or make religious knowledge like languages.  You need to pick them separately.  So someone might be trained in Buddhism and Christianity, but not in Shintoism or Jainism.
I really don't see the need to add Warfare, as most of it's uses are covered by other skills already (just like Underwater Basketweaving):

History:  Knowledge of another countries/nations historical warfare and tendencies.
Insight:  Recognition of specific tactics and maneuvers before they actually happen.
Diplomacy/Bluff/Intimidate:  Inspiring/Deceiving/Making sure your allies are more scared of failing you than they are of loosing against the enemy.


And those are just three I can think of off the top of my mind.
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[Or, heck, just eliminate automatic training in Religion for divine classes.  Presume that priests know their own religion, but make them train to learn other people's religions. 



Pretty much what I do.
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Isn't that a problem Religion has as a knowledge skill?  Sure, you know the practices and history of your chosen deity, but why would a Helmite know about the ceremonial robes worn by followers of Asmodeus?


Because they are all part of the same pantheon.  This isn't a world of many religions.  There's one religion with many deities.  A cleric of Hermes would be familiar with the teachings of Hera. 

If you create a campaign world with incompatible religions, then I would definitely contemplate additional mechanics to reflect that unfamiliarity of one priest with the teachings of another religion.  Or, heck, just eliminate automatic training in Religion for divine classes.  Presume that priests know their own religion, but make them train to learn other people's religions.  Or make religious knowledge like languages.  You need to pick them separately.  So someone might be trained in Buddhism and Christianity, but not in Shintoism or Jainism.


Most importantly, it's a world of the One True Religion, because the deities are explicitly real and known.  Religion in D&D is less a matter of faith and more a matter of which power you devote yourself to.
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Most importantly, it's a world of the One True Religion, because the deities are explicitly real and known.  Religion in D&D is less a matter of faith and more a matter of which power you devote yourself to.



Depends on the game world.
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Which ones don't follow the PoL system?  I know Athas doesn't, but that's because there's not really religion at all, since all the gods are dead.
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Most importantly, it's a world of the One True Religion, because the deities are explicitly real and known.  Religion in D&D is less a matter of faith and more a matter of which power you devote yourself to.


Isn't that irrelevant.  Knowing the particular histories and practices of each house of worship is completely distinct from faith.  It's a matter of education.
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Which ones don't follow the PoL system?  I know Athas doesn't, but that's because there's not really religion at all, since all the gods are dead.



Eberron and probably a good number of homebrew worlds.

Furthermore, since the DMG states that the PoL standard is 'the gods are distant and detached', the case could be made that the gods, in fact, do not exist because they don't DO anything.
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Most importantly, it's a world of the One True Religion, because the deities are explicitly real and known.  Religion in D&D is less a matter of faith and more a matter of which power you devote yourself to.


Isn't that irrelevant.  Knowing the particular histories and practices of each house of worship is completely distinct from faith.  It's a matter of education.



The more esoteric the knowedge, the higher the DC. The more closely related the knowledge is to the character's experience, the lower the DC.

Follow the guideline above, and there is no need for Religion (Ioun) or Religion (Asmodeus).
I don't see any reason why a warfare skill can't exist. It fills a gap in a lot of martial characters that could be very useful for skill challenges for one thing. Most of what it does could potentially be handled by other skills but the same is true of a decent chunk of the current skills. Insight could be wrapped into perception and bluff/diplomacy/intimidate could all be combined into persuasion. In both cases it was done that way in the games knights of the old republic 1&2 and it worked just fine and made sense.

The same arguments against creating a warfare skill could be applied to those skills as well. Furthermore warfare encompasses far more than what is in history. We all know there is a difference between something historical and how its adapted to the present situation. Warfare on a broad front could include strategy, tactics, commanding troops, supply lines, fortifications, setting up ambushes, etc. There is overlap but there is also enough there to be worth creating its own skill especially in light of my other points, the biggest one being giving fighters something useful to do in talking situations.

I can't count the number of times I've played a fighter or similar martial character and not had a single "talky" skill to use during a skill challenge. Even on characters that have intimidate that generally just makes the situation worse instead of better. So unless the skill challenge includes opportunities to use athletics/endurance your fighter type character is generally a detriment to have around and most of the time relegated to rolling a poor skill, aiding another, or trying to make up some fanciful reason his athletics skill applies to the situation. And how many people really want to take that skill training feat just so their character isn't totally useless outside of combat.
so the arguement is now:  "Fighters need an omni skill becaues they dont get many skills"?

Woudlnt the answer just be Pick more talky skills or just let fighters pick up an extra skill or two?

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This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.
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I can't count the number of times I've played a fighter or similar martial character and not had a single "talky" skill to use during a skill challenge. Even on characters that have intimidate that generally just makes the situation worse instead of better. So unless the skill challenge includes opportunities to use athletics/endurance your fighter type character is generally a detriment to have around and most of the time relegated to rolling a poor skill, aiding another, or trying to make up some fanciful reason his athletics skill applies to the situation. And how many people really want to take that skill training feat just so their character isn't totally useless outside of combat.



Isn't this your problem, and not the system's? 4E corrected this almost immediately with the release of the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide and the introduction of Backgrounds (expanded upon in Player's Handbook 2). Through the use of Backgrounds, you can shore up "weak points." If you want a "talky" Fighter, create or choose a Background that gives you a +2 bonus to Diplomacy or adds Diplomacy to your list of Class Skills so you can train in it.

(My rule of thumb when creating this kind of character is to check my Charisma bonus. If the bonus is +2 or higher, then the +2 is sufficient. If not, then I need to train in the skill, and let one of the other Class Skills fall unused. I already have a high Strength or Constitution, do I really need to train in Endurance, or is the +3 or +4 from my Con enough?)

In addition, when you encounter a situation that is closely related to your background, your DM is supposed to give you a situational bonus to Skill checks.

To sum up, if your character has a background like "Bodyguard to the Wealthy," it is prefectly reasonable for you to get the +2 Skill bonus or Diplomacy as a Class Skill. Further, when it comes to contract negotiations with a person of means, you should get an additional +2 to +5 bonus to your Diplomacy roll with that person.

A metric ton of these "skill list needs to be expanded" threads would be totally unncecessary if more DMs and players made active use of and encouraged Backgrounds in play.

This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.


Wow.  I'm surprised at how much I actually really like this idea.  Never occurred to me to not have class skill lists...but yeah.

I like it.
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This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.



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Here's hoping that 4.5 gives every character six Skills to train, and ditches the concept of Class Skills entirely.

Most 'Warfare' questions would probably fall under History.

As far as a skill that represents the non-combat aplications of the class's abilities and its source, Athletics wouldn't be a bad fit for the Fighter.  It uses the Fighter's primary stat, and is very, well, physcial.   So, in that sense it corresponds to a Wizard's Arcana or a Rogue's Theivery or a Druid's Nature.

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This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.



I fully support this statement and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Here's hoping that 4.5 gives every character six Skills to train, and ditches the concept of Class Skills entirely.




Six might be a bit much, but generally yeah.  Backgrounds and themes help with this, but I'd much rather just open it up completely.
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I fully support this statement and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Here's hoping that 4.5 gives every character six Skills to train, and ditches the concept of Class Skills entirely.




Six might be a bit much, but generally yeah.  Backgrounds and themes help with this, but I'd much rather just open it up completely.



I figure six is a decent balancing point between the Fighter's measly 3 trained skills, and the Rogue's 7. It will also allow every character to take a "Knowledge" and a "Social" without sacrificing the Skills they need to do their jobs (or they can hyperfocus on the physical, if they so choose).

I was thinking four, with perhaps extra trained skills for 'skillmonger' classes like Rogues.
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This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.



Okie dokie lokie.

My class needs training in all the skills.

They are appropriate to my character.



What? 



They are!  I swear!
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This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.


Wow.  I'm surprised at how much I actually really like this idea.  Never occurred to me to not have class skill lists...but yeah.

I like it.


I implemented this in my home game and it works great!  People who want to not train in a previously required skill (such as Arcana for Wizards) would need to come up with a compelling background that explained such a lack.
This argument is a big chunk of why I think the class skills list should go the way of the dodo.  Just let everybody pick the skills they think are appropriate to their character.



That has actually been a houserule in several campaigns I've played in and has worked really well.

Edit: @Malack

We used the backgrounds system for a good long time. Most of what it ended up boiling down to was people trying to get that extra +2 to hit passive hard dc's. Or the number of skills a class could take, aka fighters, just meant they still picked up their physical skills first before getting a talky skill. Not to mention generally someone else in the party does that skill better passively all the time anyway even untrained.

My group may be alone in how that played out but I doubt it.

@everyone
I agree with salla that class skill lists should be gotten rid of altogether. There is zero reason one class should have more skills than another class for one. These are all heroic adventurers so I don't see what makes a rogue more "skilly" than a fighter or cleric except for a sacred cow that rogues were always that way. The second reason being skills really should reflect character personality and background more than a rigid class structure. I can see certain classes have a an automatic trained skill (clerics & religion) but in general they should reflect what we had in mind for our character and not be restricted to a class skill list.
You could give each class (or source?) a bonus 'signature' or 'fundamental' skill, and then let the player pick 3 or 4 others.  That'd give the class a little definition and consistency, while leaving things pretty open.

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