Skills in the next D&D

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This is just some ideas that I have for the next edition of D&D if the current implentation (4e) of player skills will be used.

First the stat modifer being used to gain a bonus to skills needs to be reworked into something more beneficial. I mentioned this in a previous post but I will recite it here. As an example we have a bard and a figther, both trained in intimidate at level 1. Using the charatictures of those two classes, how is it that a jovial person, measurably more intimidating then a heavily armored warrior who probably has prominient scars and other trophys of his sheer might. Classes should be gaining there most used stat modifier in place of the set in stone modifer that is used. In the example above, the figther would gain his strength modifer to his intimidate and the bard his charisma modifer. This would apply to all skills. 

Or if that system is unacceptable have skills be based off of two stats instead of one. I.E Thievery be dexterity or intelligence based.

Second, crafting skills need to be brought back. Even if it is just one skill called Crafting, or a handful of archtypes to cover most crafting needs woodwork, stonework, metalwork, farmer, etc. Each character should gain one of these skills with out costing towards the total number of skills one can have. I believe that to much is just handwaved away through skill challenges such as "Oh you are trained in endurance, well you can lead these people in the construction of this wall for defense"

These are just a few of my own thoughts on how the skill system might be improved. 
I would like to see the skill sytem redone in much the same way as attacks were re-thought in 4e. I think they did a great thing in moving towards that idea with skill powers, but to see more of them would be nice - as well as some more ritual-like items. I think that D&D has quite a ways to go towards having a flexible skill system that is just as engrossing as combat.

That being said, what does a craft skill bring to the table? It certainly did nothing much useful in previous iterations.

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

The skill system absolutely needs an overhaul.  Personally, I'd like to see Wizards take the same approach to the skill system in 5E that they did with race design in 4E: no more penalties!  I don't mean to indicate that I think armour check should be removed, though; what I'm saying is that I'd like to see "class skills" removed, and I'd like to see every class recieve the same number of trained skills at 1st level.  It was a problem in 3.x, and it was a problem in 4E.

Let's have a look at the Fighter, for example, across both editions: 

In 3.x, the Fighter gains 2+INT modifier x4 skill points at 1st level (so 8-12, probably), and can only choose to place those points in Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Jump, Ride, and Swim without cross-class penalties.  Fully half of those skills are governed by what is now known as Athletics in 4E, and the others are only marginally viable, so the Fighter is good at Athletics, basically, and he'll have to contend with armour check on all of the skills he wants to use.  Awesome.  What if I wanted my Fighter to be a mercenary, who felt strongly about a particular kingdom's goals, and fought for them without the need for coin?  What if that kingdom lost its war, and faded into obscurity?  Now he wanders the world as a sell-sword, who doesn't ever want to get emotionally involved in his work ever again.

I'd wager that guy'd have points in Appraise (mercenaries need to have a keen eye for the true value of things), Diplomacy (for brokering deals and gaining assignments), Gather Information (for determining who's who in a new city, or tracking down a particular target), Heal (all good soldiers should be familiar with this skill), Intimidate (for when force of arms isn't quite enough), Knowledge: Nobility and Royalty (because of his background), and half a dozen other skills, probably.  Too bad, though.  Good luck ever creating a Fighter with a skill set that actually makes sense according to his background in 3.x.

4E isn't much better, though: Fighters gain access to only three trained skills at 1st level, and they're forced to pick from Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate, and Streetwise.  Granted, those skills have a much BROADER application in 4E than they did in 3.x, but it's still a bit limiting.  Meanwhile, the Ranger (who is also a Martial class) gains automatic training in either Nature or Dungeoneering, along with another four skills at 1st level.  So the Ranger gets 2 more trained skills than the Fighter, and has a much broader selection.  The Rogue gets even more skills ... for no particular reason, as far as I can see, other than the fact that they were skill monkies in previous editions.

Anyway, using my character example from above, why can't my character be trained in Diplomacy, History, Insight or Perception?  And what; just because I'm a fighter, it means I can't know anything about Religion?  

My suggestion would be to partially scrap the whole "cross class skills" idea.  Characters should all gain the same number of trained skills at 1st level, and every skill should be on the table.  In keeping with the 4E design philosophy of never punishing players for the choices they make, you could probably keep the "class skills" around, and give players a BONUS for selecting those skills that tie in obviously with their class.  A Fighter, for example, could train in Arcana if he wanted (maybe he was a guard at a Wizard's Academy for a number of years, and picked up on a few concepts), so he'd gain a +5 training bonus to Arcana checks.  But if that same Fighter opted to train in Athletics, Endurance, or any of the other "class skills", the bonus he would gain from training would be increased (+6, maybe?).  Or maybe he simply gains access to a more in-depth version of the skill?
I defiently think that more skills should be opened up to classes, but not all of them. But the issue of not enough skills for a certain classdoesn't adress what I believe to be the core issues with skills. Which is that only specific abilities are tied to skills. I will offer another example apart from the fighter. Another basic class the cleric. Typically a wisdom based class. Knows things about dieties. Automatically trained in religion. Intelligence is their dump stat. They should know more about religion save for the mostly highly educated scholars such as wizards. But instead they are left with +4, 5, or 6 depending on ablities at level 1. 

Skills not only need to reflect the class in what they can take but in how adept they are in those skills. Else why bother limiting classes to a set of skills if they struggle to in mastering those skills that they should have some adeptness in.
I agree completely, Limond.  I'd love to see some versatility in attribute / skill correlation.  You brought up Intimidate, and I think that's a really good example.  The attribute associated with that particular skill could vary wildly, depending on how you intend to use it: have you ever met someone who was just obviously a lot smarter, or faster, or just straight-up better than you at something in particular?  Those people can be kind of intimidating, don't you think?  Even though they may not be using their personality to directly intimidate you (Hell, they might not even be AWARE that you think they're intimidating), you still feel a little uneasy about them?  I've certainly felt like that before, and I've had people tell me they were afraid to talk to me at first, because they didn't want to come across as an idiot or something (even though I'd NEVER intentionally try to make someone feel that way).

It's certainly a form of intimidation, though, and it has nothing at all to do with Charisma.

If you're debating magical theories in D&D, for example, and one of the guys at the table wants to bully someone else with their superior intellect, they should be able to use their Intelligence attribute as a bonus to that roll, right?  What about the Half-Orc barbarian, who couldn't charm his way out of a paper bag; can't he try to make himself look really physically-imposing, and use Strength (or maybe even Constitution, if he's trying to show off his battle-scars or something) instead of Charisma for the intimidation check?

I think that he absolutely should be able to.  So, yeah.  I totally agree that they need to free themselves from the current attribute / skill associations, and start over with something fresh.     
I generally agree with everything except "free" crafting skills. It's hard to learn and maintain a good crafting skill level, an adventuring is not compatible.
Skill levels in crafting skill should cost experience points or true character time to reflect the time needed to keep your expertise. Some crafters consider that someone lose its professional skill level after six months to one year of not practicing it every day.

Skill systems tend trivialize crafting but it's harder to maintain than knowledge. An adventurer can easily maintain a low level of expertise in a crafting skill, but not more without practicing everyday with the adapted tools.

More than that, I think that each crafter deserve a devoted class and that pure adventurers should have only access to a simple Craft skill that covers basic repairs, constructions, meals, skinning or else.
The skill system absolutely needs an overhaul.  Personally, I'd like to see Wizards take the same approach to the skill system in 5E that they did with race design in 4E: no more penalties!  I don't mean to indicate that I think armour check should be removed, though; what I'm saying is that I'd like to see "class skills" removed, and I'd like to see every class recieve the same number of trained skills at 1st level.  It was a problem in 3.x, and it was a problem in 4E.

Let's have a look at the Fighter, for example, across both editions: 

In 3.x, the Fighter gains 2+INT modifier x4 skill points at 1st level (so 8-12, probably), and can only choose to place those points in Climb, Craft, Handle Animal, Jump, Ride, and Swim without cross-class penalties.  Fully half of those skills are governed by what is now known as Athletics in 4E, and the others are only marginally viable, so the Fighter is good at Athletics, basically, and he'll have to contend with armour check on all of the skills he wants to use.  Awesome.  What if I wanted my Fighter to be a mercenary, who felt strongly about a particular kingdom's goals, and fought for them without the need for coin?  What if that kingdom lost its war, and faded into obscurity?  Now he wanders the world as a sell-sword, who doesn't ever want to get emotionally involved in his work ever again.

I'd wager that guy'd have points in Appraise (mercenaries need to have a keen eye for the true value of things), Diplomacy (for brokering deals and gaining assignments), Gather Information (for determining who's who in a new city, or tracking down a particular target), Heal (all good soldiers should be familiar with this skill), Intimidate (for when force of arms isn't quite enough), Knowledge: Nobility and Royalty (because of his background), and half a dozen other skills, probably.  Too bad, though.  Good luck ever creating a Fighter with a skill set that actually makes sense according to his background in 3.x.

4E isn't much better, though: Fighters gain access to only three trained skills at 1st level, and they're forced to pick from Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate, and Streetwise.  Granted, those skills have a much BROADER application in 4E than they did in 3.x, but it's still a bit limiting.  Meanwhile, the Ranger (who is also a Martial class) gains automatic training in either Nature or Dungeoneering, along with another four skills at 1st level.  So the Ranger gets 2 more trained skills than the Fighter, and has a much broader selection.  The Rogue gets even more skills ... for no particular reason, as far as I can see, other than the fact that they were skill monkies in previous editions.

Anyway, using my character example from above, why can't my character be trained in Diplomacy, History, Insight or Perception?  And what; just because I'm a fighter, it means I can't know anything about Religion?  

My suggestion would be to partially scrap the whole "cross class skills" idea.  Characters should all gain the same number of trained skills at 1st level, and every skill should be on the table.  In keeping with the 4E design philosophy of never punishing players for the choices they make, you could probably keep the "class skills" around, and give players a BONUS for selecting those skills that tie in obviously with their class.  A Fighter, for example, could train in Arcana if he wanted (maybe he was a guard at a Wizard's Academy for a number of years, and picked up on a few concepts), so he'd gain a +5 training bonus to Arcana checks.  But if that same Fighter opted to train in Athletics, Endurance, or any of the other "class skills", the bonus he would gain from training would be increased (+6, maybe?).  Or maybe he simply gains access to a more in-depth version of the skill?

This is something I touched on a long time ago over on my WotC blog. I made everything a skill, including weapons and armor. Skill training no longer means the difference between competent and incompetent, but halfway decent and phenomenal. I haven't figured out how to handle magic just yet, but I can visualize it becoming part of this system somehow.
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          Crafting has always been a key skill in any of my D&D campaigns in any addition of the rules set. The crafting skill is a jumping off point to encourage players to be creative and participate in developing the world. I think there should be a crafting skill of some sort in any addition of D&D that is published. Crafting in game is an open door  inviting players to make things for the world.

I'm for abolishing cross class in skills, it was pretty pathetic that a rouge can max pick pocket, hide, move silently, and yet spot and listen were cross class for some class's so even maxing them gave them no defence, so all those years on gaurd duty, taught the gaurd nothing ? I was very impressed with runecraft on skills. it was easy to gain skill to start, then became harder as the better you got, there was less to learn :D
I think you shoudl eitehr use a skill systenm that auto-scales with level (like 4th ed), OR a systemw here you take ranks, but abolish skill challenges.
If, instead of 'X successes' skill chllanges, you work with obstacles (and leave it to the PCs to find out hwo to dealk with it), you can abandion the sclaing skills. In those acses, who or what can do which skill becomes less imprtant for 'balance', so it make sit a lot easier to base the amount of skills on traing (i.e. Int or Feats), and to open up all skills to all classes.

Note that I don't think there is anythignw rong with tyo=ing skills to abilities. However, i think Dms shoulkd raelzie that hey can be flexible with how thsi works. This has *always* been the case - DMs, in any deition, could decdie that teh orec flexing his msucles use STrength for Intimidate rather than Charisma. It is *up to the DM*. I do, hwoever, belive e a skil beenmfits form havifg  a'deafult, unless teh DM decdies otherwise' ability tied to it.
So Intimidate generally is Charism based - unless the DM decides otherwise.
You shout at someone? Charisma.
You bend a iron bar toi make your point? Strength.
You put uot your cigar in your palm while you glare at the subject? Consitution.
Up to teh DM. But charisma will most likely be the default. I suggest not to change that, because they are both beginning and bad DMs (and Players) out there, and you need basic Rules to make the game work with them.

I do think this is teh intention of 5th ed.
So, if I get the id of the system right, it could work like this:

Basic ruleset:
- All classes can use all skills.
- All classes get Int+3 skills to be trained in (which provides a +2)
- All classes can either train (+2) or improve (+1) Int skills every level
- A skill is tied to a default ability score

A DM can make the following decisions in-game:
- For select uses, a skill may need to be trained
- For specific situations, he can apply a bonus or a  penalty
- For specific situations, he may allow other PCs to aid (roll to make DC 10 - add +2)
- For specific situations, he may decise another ability than the default applies

A DM can use the following optional rulesets:
- Certain races or classes have bonus trained skills, or provide bonuses on skills a PC trains
- Certain abilities may be split in different 'aspects'. Each ability ahs twoa spects: you can choose to have one aspect be higher than the normal ability value, but the other aspects has to be lower. Different aspects could apply to skills or to saves/defenses.
I.e:
Strength: Brute Force and Endurance
Consitiution: Endurance and Fortitude
Dexterity: Nibleness and Reflexes
Intelligence: Knowledge and Logics
Wisdown: Intuition and Willpower
Charisma; Comeliness and Personality
(yes, this is a more complex system, that is why it would be optional)