Skills: How many of them? How much do you get on level 1 and after? How many for multiclassing?

1. How many different skills do we want or need?

I have come up to a list of 21:

-1. Athletics (strength); jump, climb, swim, escape a grab,
-2. Endurance (constitution); holding breath, forced march, endure hunger/thirst, endure extreme weather, long distance hunt,
-3. Acrobatics (dexterity); tumble, balance, escape bonds, escape a grab,
-4. Thievery (dexterity); disabling traps, opening locks, picking pockets, making bonds,
-5. Stealth (dexterity); moving unseen/unheard, following, setting up ambushes,
-6: Ride (dexterity); ride an animal, animal driven vehicle,
-7: Linguistics (intelligence); Speak additional languages, decipher ancient scripts, innuendo messages, make and detect forgeries,
-8: Appraise (intelligence): Determine value of items, get better prices for buying and selling, detect magic items made to look mundane,
-9: Craft (intelligence); Craft items(one category per skill level taken)
-10: Knowledge Arcana (intelligence); Identify magic, dragons, aberrations, constructs, magical beasts,
-11: Knowledge Religion (intelligence); gods, outer plance, outsiders, elementals, undead,
-12: Knowledge Nature (intelligence); Handle animal, animals, plants, humanoids, monstrous humanoids, beasts, giants,
-13: Knowledge Civilization (intelligence); history, geography, nobility, engineering, royalty,
-14: Perception (wisdom); senses, searching,
-15: Survival (wisdom); outdoor survival, predicting weather, foraging, tracking, defend against severe weather, crafting simple traps and snares,            finding rare herbs, 
-16: Insight (wisdom); sense motive, discern lies, read emotions, read feints, detect innuendo,
-17: Heal (wisdom); first aid, long term care, treat poison, treat disease,
-18: Bluff (charisma); lie, misdirect, maintain a disguise, feint, innuendo,
-19: Diplomacy (charisma); negotiate a deal, barter, gather information,
-20: Intimidate (charisma);
-21: Perform (charisma); one category per skill level taken,



2. How much do you get on level 1?

depending on class/background/theme it should be from 3 to 7.

getting skill training will give you +4 in that skill.
also it will give you minimum roll of 5 in that skill(mundane tasks are easy, even when rushed then),

skill focus will give you additional +3 in that skill and a minimum die roll of 8(requires level 3),

skill mastery will give you additional +2 in that skill and a minimum die roll of 10(requires level 7),

skill grandmastery will give you additional +1 in that skill and a minimum die roll of 12(requires level 12),

Skill training, skill focus, skill mastery and grandmastery will also be general feats that all will be able to take after meeting prerequirements.



3. How many skills do you get after? I was thinking that every class gets certain fraction of a bonus skill feat per level.
-lets say that a rogue gets 0,90 skill feat per level. So at level 1 he has 0,90 feat to spend(round down) that is zero, at level 2 he has 1,80 feat to spend or round down exactly one bonus feat skill.  For a total of 18 bonus skills at lvl 20.

-fighter would get 0,4 and get 1st bonus feat at level 3 and 2nd at level 5 for a total of 8 bonus skills at level 20.



4.  As for multiclassing;

for later levels it's easy. Just add up fractions of both classes and determine when you can get a bonus feat.

As for starting number of skill I would add from second class the difference from the number of skills that class gets and the number of skills 1st class gets to a minimum of 0 skills.

I.E. fighter 1 gets 3 skills, then he gains a level of rogue and gets 4 skills(7- 3 from fighter) for a total of 7 skills

I.E.2 rogue 1 gets 7 skills, then he gains a level of fighter and gets 0 skills (3 -7 = -4, but minimum is 0).

both solutions are rogue1/fighter1, both get 7 skills and there is no 1st level skill exploits.
Since skills can be applied to any Ability modifier with D&D:Next, it really brings the total down from your list. Athletics could be a much broader appliaction of stats such as applying it to Dexterity for balance or to Strength for climb or for Constitution for Swim. So with that in mind, I don't think we need a huge list of skills like we saw in 3E. For example, Craft could use Intelligence for things like Alchemy but Strength for forging weapons and armor and Dexterity of the use of Bows and fletching or Woodwork. The idea that they severed Skill's ties to specific Ability Scores means one skill can serve multipler purposes such as Wilderness Lore can be used to Forage (Wis), talk to animals (Cha), possibly make nature-based traps (Dex), traverse the woods (Con), read the direction of Tracks (Int or Wis).
Since skills can be applied to any Ability modifier with D&D:Next, it really brings the total down from your list. Athletics could be a much broader appliaction of stats such as applying it to Dexterity for balance or to Strength for climb or for Constitution for Swim. So with that in mind, I don't think we need a huge list of skills like we saw in 3E. For example, Craft could use Intelligence for things like Alchemy but Strength for forging weapons and armor and Dexterity of the use of Bows and fletching or Woodwork. The idea that they severed Skill's ties to specific Ability Scores means one skill can serve multipler purposes such as Wilderness Lore can be used to Forage (Wis), talk to animals (Cha), possibly make nature-based traps (Dex), traverse the woods (Con), read the direction of Tracks (Int or Wis).



yes, but I stated the basic modifier that could be used with any given skill.

Intelligence could be used for perform for creating songs but charisma would be how well you perform them.

etc,etc,etc... 
Then I wouldn't see a problem with gaining additional Skills as one increases, say every 4-5 levels gaining an additional Skill known to represenet adventuring and overall character growth.
Skills: How many of them? How much do you get on level 1 and after? How many for multiclassing?


Currently, your Background gives you 3-4 Skills (Knight, Priest & Sage give 4, Comoner & Soldier give 3) and no additional Skills are gained until X level (Playtest only goes up to level 3 and no new Skills are gained so far) and Skill training grant +3 bonus

Additionally, other Features might grant access to additional Skills such as the Thief Scheme, which grants 3. Again how many Skill training can be obtained by way of non-Background is hard to tell at this moment.

How Multiclassing will affect Skills progression is unknown since it hasn't been release yet.

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-1. Athletics (strength); jump, climb, swim, escape a grab,
-2. Endurance (constitution); holding breath, forced march, endure hunger/thirst, endure extreme weather, long distance hunt,
-3. Acrobatics (dexterity); tumble, balance, escape bonds, escape a grab,
-4. Thievery (dexterity); disabling traps, opening locks, picking pockets, making bonds,
-5. Stealth (dexterity); moving unseen/unheard, following, setting up ambushes,


All fine.


-6: Ride (dexterity); ride an animal, animal driven vehicle,
-7: Linguistics (intelligence); Speak additional languages, decipher ancient scripts, innuendo messages, make and detect forgeries,
-8: Appraise (intelligence): Determine value of items, get better prices for buying and selling, detect magic items made to look mundane,
-9: Craft (intelligence); Craft items(one category per skill level taken)


These are all terrible. Ride is an odd skill because while it seems like an adventuring skill, the real problem is that when it comes up, everyone needs it, but there are tons of situations in which it does not apply at all, including every single indoor environment.


Linguistics is a bad idea as as skill because, while useful, it is also one of those things that is often not useful, and it isn't really much like other skills - skills are used to determine success and failure, whereas knowing a language is something else entirely - you either do or you don't. While yes, you may speak a langugae badly, having language checks just doesn't work very well.


Appraise is a terrible skill because it is just too uninteresting in practice, and you can just take your stuff to be approaised anyway. Not worthy of being a skill in a game like D&D.


Craft is likewise useless during adventures, and ergo should not compete for skill slots with them.


-10: Knowledge Arcana (intelligence); Identify magic, dragons, aberrations, constructs, magical beasts,
-11: Knowledge Religion (intelligence); gods, outer plance, outsiders, elementals, undead,
-12: Knowledge Nature (intelligence); Handle animal, animals, plants, humanoids, monstrous humanoids, beasts, giants,


These are okay.


-13: Knowledge Civilization (intelligence); history, geography, nobility, engineering, royalty,


This is less so. The problem with this skill, unlike the above, is that in many campaigns it will either be incredibly useful or incredibly useless.


-14: Perception (wisdom); senses, searching,


Fine.


-15: Survival (wisdom); outdoor survival, predicting weather, foraging, tracking, defend against severe weather, crafting simple traps and snares, finding rare herbs,


Another useless skill. The problem with survival checks is that people just don't starve to death in 99% of games of D&D - food has never once been an area of real concern in any RPG I have ever played in the history of ever. The other uses SOUND cute, but in practice I've found that they just don't come up often enough, save for tracking. Lumping this skill into Nature makes a lot more sense, and there is a ton of overlap.


-16: Insight (wisdom); sense motive, discern lies, read emotions, read feints, detect innuendo,
-17: Heal (wisdom); first aid, long term care, treat poison, treat disease,
-18: Bluff (charisma); lie, misdirect, maintain a disguise, feint, innuendo,
-19: Diplomacy (charisma); negotiate a deal, barter, gather information,
-20: Intimidate (charisma);


These are fine.


-21: Perform (charisma); one category per skill level taken,


Perform is another useless skill, much like craft. If your character can perform, he can perform; it doesn't need a skill, and it doesn't really apply to adventuring the vast, vast majority of the time.

To be honest, 4th edition's skill set is about right for a game like D&D, though Streetwise doesn't come up enough for my liking.

@TD's post.  A couple disagreeances (anything not mentioned, I agree with).  My responses are separated by 'blocks' of quote.

Athletics and Endurance could probably be combined into something -- I'll not try to name them, as you'll end up with something like 'Physicality' lol.

Agree until we hit 'Craft'.  I think Craft could/should be expanded to include traps, snares, improvised equipment/weapon repair and so on.  With such a broad category, no points would be wasted in it I'd think.

Engineering is a big one (imo) for bypassing structures, destroying structures, seige planning, and so on.  Maybe combine it with some kind of mass combat tactical knowledge under the blanket of 'Seigeworks'?

Agree about survival vs nature; also assign tracking into it as Pathfinder does.

Too many social distinctions.  A broader generalization would be more useful imo.  Negotiation (Bluff, Diplomacy, CHA-based Intimidate)?

Just my thoughts.  I didn't want to break apart a multi-reply post, that's difficult at times to follow the train of thought.


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@TD's post.  A couple disagreeances (anything not mentioned, I agree with).  My responses are separated by 'blocks' of quote.

Athletics and Endurance could probably be combined into something -- I'll not try to name them, as you'll end up with something like 'Physicality' lol.

Agree until we hit 'Craft'.  I think Craft could/should be expanded to include traps, snares, improvised equipment/weapon repair and so on.  With such a broad category, no points would be wasted in it I'd think.

Engineering is a big one (imo) for bypassing structures, destroying structures, seige planning, and so on.  Maybe combine it with some kind of mass combat tactical knowledge under the blanket of 'Seigeworks'?

Agree about survival vs nature; also assign tracking into it as Pathfinder does.

Too many social distinctions.  A broader generalization would be more useful imo.  Negotiation (Bluff, Diplomacy, CHA-based Intimidate)?

Just my thoughts.  I didn't want to break apart a multi-reply post, that's difficult at times to follow the train of thought.




I like the social destinations. Craft as you describe it is OK, but a bit lackluster still. I think dungeonerring and and engineering should be combined. Athletics and endurance are wildly different.
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I think that skills in the playtest were fine.

Backgrounds provide great options and it's easy to create a new background to fullfil some archetype.

The sistem of D&DN is based on ability, so you call for a skill roll only if you're trained with it.

@TD
I disagree with the whole notion that skills should only have an adventuring correlation.  

But to address survival in the context of what you speak, I'd prefer "survival" be the generic skill that covers nature and wilderness lore.  


I think this is an easy fix for us both though.  We just have two skill lists that are modules.  Pick the one you want.
@TD

I didn't value all skills the same, that is true.

But some skills are pure flavor and will be taken for roleplay and that will be one rank of skills only(+4 bonus), like(perform, craft, appraise)

As for linguistics, I forgot to say that with each feat you get a number of languages equal to given skill bonus.

Appraise will be taken by all merchants and some PC's that want to get more cash out of their gear(I hope that bartering and skill in goods exchange will be a factor in DDN).

Having only basic level(+4) of craft, appraise, bluff, diplomacy and insight will make a powerhouse salesman at low level and it could provide a hefty bonus in number of magic items to your party. It's all about the DM how much those skills will be worth.

I agree that survival could be hammered in nature but I somehow like the difference between theoretical and practical knowledge in that category. 

Also, I like ride. Almost all of my 3.5E characters had few ranks in it.

 
I agree that survival could be hammered in nature but I somehow like the difference between theoretical and practical knowledge in that category. 

Also, I like ride. Almost all of my 3.5E characters had few ranks in it.

The thing about survival, is that the difference between theoretical and practical knowledge could be simulated by the difference between Int and Wis. I like to think of the scene in the Big Bang Theory, where, when their car breaks down, one of the scientists asks "anyone know anything about internal combustion engines?" and they all nod and mumble in agreement, then he says "Anyone know how to fix an internal combustion engine?" and they all admit they have no clue. They'd all be High int, low Wis people, and we could use Knowledge (Automechanics) as a proxy for survival or Knowledge (Natural) or whatever.  A high Int person may know theoretical knowledge about surviving in the wilderness, but if they have low Wis, they have no real knowledge of how to do so.

As for Ride, I would normally agree with TD, but I think if it's assumed that adventurers can ride without it, they just need checks to have any ability to ride under any sort of stressful circumstances (chased by bandits, ect), I could support Ride as a skill.

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I don't view wisdom that way.  Intelligence is knowing the facts.  Wisdom is perceiving them accurately.   A high intelligence knows smoking is bad for you but doesn't accurately weigh the true of doing it so makes a poor decision.   A high wisdom character perceives the opportunity cost of smoking accurately and makes an informed decision to do it.  In most cases I think this means they don't do it.

I consider both instances that you spoke of as knowledge and thus int related.  They are different though.  Kind of the difference between a Physicist and an Electrical Engineer.  

Also you can be pretty sure that given plenty of time, a mechanical engineer could figure the car issue out.  He's not trained in fixing cars day to day of course but he would eventually figure it out.   Some things really are intense recipe like training.  Thats the nature of our society today.

 
As it is now you get them all and your class, background, and/or theme allows you to train a couple of them.

I like this as it is. No lists, no dividing points, and no crazy, insane, and stupid numbers bloat on the ones you decide to increase while the rest flounder. 

It's so much better to know that if you want to jump or climb or swim or ride a horse or carve a figurine or sell coal to the local blacksmith or learn the best recipes or have some idea about the history of a place, that you need only make the appropriate check (that is pretty much the same for everybody at every level) and know that you have a reasonable chance of succeeding. 

Agree until we hit 'Craft'. I think Craft could/should be expanded to include traps, snares, improvised equipment/weapon repair and so on. With such a broad category, no points would be wasted in it I'd think.


Here's the problem: Thievery already covers disarming traps, and the rest doesn't matter. Weapon damage just doesn't (and shouldn't) happen mechanically.


Engineering is a big one (imo) for bypassing structures, destroying structures, seige planning, and so on. Maybe combine it with some kind of mass combat tactical knowledge under the blanket of 'Seigeworks'?


I've never been in a single campaign where seigeworks would have been a useful skill. I would imagine most people haven't.


I disagree with the whole notion that skills should only have an adventuring correlation.


That's fine, but you're wrong to think otherwise. D&D is about adventurers, in the end. Its not Alternity.


I think this is an easy fix for us both though. We just have two skill lists that are modules. Pick the one you want.


This doesn't work at all. See also: published adventures, published encounters, ect.


But some skills are pure flavor and will be taken for roleplay and that will be one rank of skills only(+4 bonus), like(perform, craft, appraise)


These skills shouldn't cost you anything mechanically. They are flavor and flavor they should remain. They might help you rarely, but they shouldn't cost skill points.

I'd be tempted to do things like roll all CHA-based skills (and insight and a few others) up into "Interaction" and call it a day.  If a high-CHA character can afford to be good at all his CHA-based skills he will, if he can't, you have to ask yourself why you want a system that makes it impossible - or hard, or costly - to be good at all those closely-related skills?  Is it realistic that a good liar can't also be intimidating or dimplomatic?  


Since skills are the game's main face to the non-combat Pillars it might be nice to have a comparable number of skills under each pillar.  Hm.. let's see:


Interaction

Bluff
Diplomacy
Intimidate
Insight
Streetwise
Pick Pockets

Exploration

Athletics
Dungeoneering
Endurance
Nature
Perception
Stealth
Pick Locks/Trapsmith
 

"Knowledges" of various types could be handy in either pillar.  Knowledge of culture or history or religion could be useful in interaction, Knowledge of history or geography or the occult helpful in exploration.


However many skill seem like a good idea, it's important that the list be final and not open-ended.  Skills like "Knowledge (Whatever)" where it's up to the player and DM to fill in the 'whatever' with whatever they dream up mean that a character can never be adequately skilled.  As soon as one character writes down "Knoweldge(Abadathian Plains), everyone else forgets all about that region.   IMHO, skills should be limitted to those actually of use in the two non-combat pillars.  Non-adventuring skills could be part of your background, but shouldn't 'cost' you anything.

 

 

 

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I'd be tempted to do things like roll all CHA-based skills (and insight and a few others) up into "Interaction" and call it a day.  If a high-CHA character can afford to be good at all his CHA-based skills he will, if he can't, you have to ask yourself why you want a system that makes it impossible - or hard, or costly - to be good at all those closely-related skills?  Is it realistic that a good liar can't also be intimidating or dimplomatic?



Well, yes, actually. Intimidation, bluffing, and diplomacy are all rather different things, and it is very easy to imagine someone being good at one without skill at the others. Being good at all three helps you, but there are plenty of people who are good at being diplomatic who suck at being intimidating or bluffing; there are plenty of career conmen who are not very good at negotiating; there are plenty of gangsters and soldiers who are intimidating but not diplomatic and not really clever enough to bluff.

Moreover, the three are reasonably different enough to be differentiated in combat - bluffing can let you feint and suchlike, intimidation might scare someone into surrendering or make them have more trouble fighting, and diplomacy can help negiotiate an end to a fight when the fight is desperate and neither side is doing well (we'll draw back and let you take your wounded if you'll let us take ours).
As it is now you get them all and your class, background, and/or theme allows you to train a couple of them.

I like this as it is. No lists, no dividing points, and no crazy, insane, and stupid numbers bloat on the ones you decide to increase while the rest flounder. 

It's so much better to know that if you want to jump or climb or swim or ride a horse or carve a figurine or sell coal to the local blacksmith or learn the best recipes or have some idea about the history of a place, that you need only make the appropriate check (that is pretty much the same for everybody at every level) and know that you have a reasonable chance of succeeding. 



But I didnt suggest and crazy number bloat.

Maximum what you could put in a skill is +10, and that will cost you 4 skill feats(points, levels or what ever you want to call it). And minimum level of 12.

If you spread that out you would get 4 skill with +4 bonus(total of +16). Which I could imagine that many characters will do.

With one, maybe two skills highly specialized.


Also for your last paragraph; whats the need for skills if everyone has more or less the same modifier on rolls. Skills describe training and background for your character. 
But I didnt suggest and crazy number bloat.

Maximum what you could put in a skill is +10, and that will cost you 4 skill feats(points, levels or what ever you want to call it). And minimum level of 12.



As best we know the system so far, that IS a crazy number bloat.  Skill bonuses need to stay roughly the same as attack bonuses of various sorts.  That way if you need to save against a skill or the like, then you don't have skills being too powerful or too weak.  So +10 IS too high as we understand the system right now.  And frankly, I hope nothing changes to the system to make that not too high, because I want things to remain extremely flat.
But I didnt suggest and crazy number bloat.

Maximum what you could put in a skill is +10, and that will cost you 4 skill feats(points, levels or what ever you want to call it). And minimum level of 12.



As best we know the system so far, that IS a crazy number bloat.  Skill bonuses need to stay roughly the same as attack bonuses of various sorts.  That way if you need to save against a skill or the like, then you don't have skills being too powerful or too weak.  So +10 IS too high as we understand the system right now.  And frankly, I hope nothing changes to the system to make that not too high, because I want things to remain extremely flat.



But how would you describe high level rogue/ranger/assassin and his skill in stealth?

his +10 modifier vs. common guard of +4(and guards will have perception trained) isn't quite a advantage in the first place.(I wont get into ability modifiers and racials, but they make previous editions even worse in term of gaps)

In 4E if you wanted to be good at stealth you took skill focus also but that difference at level 12 was +14 vs +5. Little better than my suggestion. and 3.5 was +18(with skill focus) vs. +4, now that is HUGE gap.

Higher level character should not auto-win a skill challenge but they should have some consistency in winning those challenges.

And how would you different a sage from apprentice wizards knowledge? Or master herbalist?

this IS where skill levels/ranks kick in. And they MUST exist because of that.
 
where rogue classes seem to be having problems id in their ability to do their job. A rogue or assassin with inadequate bonuses will be hamsrung by them. 

The solution in my estimation is to remove them from the normal skills and return them to the classes and have them increase slowly as the player gains levels. after all isn't this the point of gaining levels, to increase the effectiveness of the character. Hide, move silently, finding and removing traps and climbing walls might be better served as class features rather than gaining a measly +3 for being trained skills.

I saw the problem with the rogue in the playtest having a crappy wisdom modifier that put it at a disadvantage. Mike Mearls mentioned it in his latest L&L article too. There are some things that don't make good skills but are necessary for a class to function. I think putting them where they belong might be the best option. 
where rogue classes seem to be having problems id in their ability to do their job. A rogue or assassin with inadequate bonuses will be hamsrung by them. 

The solution in my estimation is to remove them from the normal skills and return them to the classes and have them increase slowly as the player gains levels. after all isn't this the point of gaining levels, to increase the effectiveness of the character. Hide, move silently, finding and removing traps and climbing walls might be better served as class features rather than gaining a measly +3 for being trained skills.

I saw the problem with the rogue in the playtest having a crappy wisdom modifier that put it at a disadvantage. Mike Mearls mentioned it in his latest L&L article too. There are some things that don't make good skills but are necessary for a class to function. I think putting them where they belong might be the best option. 



No, no, no...

Please no more charity bonuses by leveling for skills, attack, saves.

If you want to be better at somethnig PAY FOR IT, pay for it by being less good at something else.

Of course, the more you pile up in single category the less bonuses you get, so it pays up to have balanced overall characters and not one trick ponies.
 

I disagree with the whole notion that skills should only have an adventuring correlation.


That's fine, but you're wrong to think otherwise. D&D is about adventurers, in the end. Its not Alternity.





I prefer a ruleset that at least somewhat models the campaign world.   Even if craft and perform are very abstract since they are not adventuring skills.   No one has to take a skill.  If someone does want that for their character though I see no issue with it.


I think this is an easy fix for us both though. We just have two skill lists that are modules. Pick the one you want.


This doesn't work at all. See also: published adventures, published encounters, ect.




They won't specify the skill.  They will specify the challenge.   I don't see published adventures having any problem with this.   They've already said that one style of play is to ignore skills all together and just roll attribute checks.

The published adventure will say --- This chest is trapped DC 14.   Or this door is stuck DC 12.  No need to say how those challenges get overcome.  The entire system is very modularizable.  Even in 4e someone published a long spell list alternative and I'm sure anyone could have dropped it in very easily.


There is nothing wrong with skills that are not adventure focused.  No one has to take them.  They are useful even if only used for NPCs as a guideline.   Some players though will want to devote a little to such skills.  

I've never been in a single campaign where seigeworks would have been a useful skill. I would imagine most people haven't.



Oddly enough, I have, and in another thread mentioned the very character. Ended up incredibly powerful, and he was a siege engineer, built on the Expert class. Mechanically weak but situationally very very potent. Once again, it takes a different mindset than most D&D games, where "hit it until it's hit points reach zero" isn't the only method of success.

That aside, there are definitely differences between a lot of different specializations and subcategories of broader skills. In this iteration of the system however, they don't seem to be breaking them down implicitly (yet). Why not let the situation and character's focus dictate whether or not the bonus applies? It means more on the spot judgement calls on the DM's part.

Likewise, I'd re-categorize even some of the fairly straightforward and conventional skills. Open Lock, should probably be more like Bypass Entry, and include not just picking locks, but also forcing entry, as well as training in finding alternative points of entry or egress into a secured area.

In that case, picking a lock would roll on Dex (which isn't really accurate; It should probably be Int truthfully), Forcing entry would roll on dex or str depending on the situation, and locating alternate methods of entry would typically function off of Int.

As far as the various social skills go, however, you're absolutely right that negotiation, intimidation, diplomacy, and bluff are all very different. If they all functioned off of the same skill, however, you could still apply different stats to the skill in question based on the situation in question, and likewise the GM could decide whether or not any bonuses apply if it's an unusual one.

On the other hand, I don't know many people who are good at negotiating but bad at all other aspects of human interaction. The same is true for the others also (except maybe for Intimidation). Most of the time, you're either good with people in general, or you aren't. I'm not saying that you can't get better, and I'm not saying that there isn't skill involved, but most of the time, somebody who's a good liar at the very least isn't inept at telling people what they want to hear, and/or quickly figuring out what tact to approach from to manipulate and alter their outlook on something (ie Diplomacy). It may not be true 100% of the time, but in my experience it's true the large majority.

Here's another question: How do we want to treat professions (via the commoner background)? It doesn't implicitly state that you can do anything other than generate money, but if we apply a modicum of logic, a lot of professions have utility outside of trading goods or services for currency, and may apply in adventure situations.

Case in point...

A Blacksmith, Armorer, Tanner, or Tailor might have the opportunity to repair an item that's moderately damaged during an adventure, or even modify one to alter its function or purpose on the fly in certain situations.

A Locksmith would be trained to pick locks, force entry, and find alternate methods of entry or egress, as well as repairing damaged lock or barricade hardware and expediently securing points of entry/egress. No help with traps certainly, but definitely locks and even barricades in some cases. It would also add to deal with bypassing vault security without actually dealing with the lock, which a standard Open lock action might not apply to (part of my suggestion to broaden the skill).

An Apothecary would know about simple chemical and herbal remedies and toxins, as well as likely having some mundane medical skills. While it wouldn't help with survival rolls in any general sense, identifying helpful or harmful substances would certainly apply.

The list can go on for a while.
But how would you describe high level rogue/ranger/assassin and his skill in stealth?

his +10 modifier vs. common guard of +4(and guards will have perception trained) isn't quite a advantage in the first place.(I wont get into ability modifiers and racials, but they make previous editions even worse in term of gaps)

In 4E if you wanted to be good at stealth you took skill focus also but that difference at level 12 was +14 vs +5. Little better than my suggestion. and 3.5 was +18(with skill focus) vs. +4, now that is HUGE gap.

Higher level character should not auto-win a skill challenge but they should have some consistency in winning those challenges.

And how would you different a sage from apprentice wizards knowledge? Or master herbalist?

this IS where skill levels/ranks kick in. And they MUST exist because of that.
 



That's not how the design of Next is meant to work, generally speaking.  Anymore than a high level fighter shouldn't be hit by the guards, a high level rogue is NOT immune to being spotted (though with the rogue ability to have a 10 as his minimum die result, he does have an advantage).

And I disagree that all guards will have perception trained.  Elite guards?  Sure, but standard run-of-the-mill guards?  I don't think so.

A high level character might well have more ways to get the advantage or something else, but a big increase in bonuses is not a good way to go.   Again, low level monsters AREN'T supposed to become completely irrelevent.  Also, if skill bonuses are kept down you can then reasonably use them for things such as attacks -- very important with skills like Intimidate.
But how would you describe high level rogue/ranger/assassin and his skill in stealth?

his +10 modifier vs. common guard of +4(and guards will have perception trained) isn't quite a advantage in the first place.(I wont get into ability modifiers and racials, but they make previous editions even worse in term of gaps)

In 4E if you wanted to be good at stealth you took skill focus also but that difference at level 12 was +14 vs +5. Little better than my suggestion. and 3.5 was +18(with skill focus) vs. +4, now that is HUGE gap.

Higher level character should not auto-win a skill challenge but they should have some consistency in winning those challenges.

And how would you different a sage from apprentice wizards knowledge? Or master herbalist?

this IS where skill levels/ranks kick in. And they MUST exist because of that.
 



That's not how the design of Next is meant to work, generally speaking.  Anymore than a high level fighter shouldn't be hit by the guards, a high level rogue is NOT immune to being spotted (though with the rogue ability to have a 10 as his minimum die result, he does have an advantage).

And I disagree that all guards will have perception trained.  Elite guards?  Sure, but standard run-of-the-mill guards?  I don't think so.

A high level character might well have more ways to get the advantage or something else, but a big increase in bonuses is not a good way to go.   Again, low level monsters AREN'T supposed to become completely irrelevent.  Also, if skill bonuses are kept down you can then reasonably use them for things such as attacks -- very important with skills like Intimidate.



rogue will take 10 in those scores nevertheless, so skill mastery is only in combat issue. And higher level fighter will have more AC than lower level one. Not through free per level bonuses but by feats or class abilities(or I expect that atleast), not by much but few points could get collected.

But how would you rank a high level infiltrator in comparison to low level?

In combat they atleast said that damage will scale and HP so that is whack-a-mole category covered by level difference, casters will obviously have more powerfull spells, but what about skill monkeys?

 
rogue will take 10 in those scores nevertheless, so skill mastery is only in combat issue. And higher level fighter will have more AC than lower level one. Not through free per level bonuses but by feats or class abilities(or I expect that atleast), not by much but few points could get collected.

But how would you rank a high level infiltrator in comparison to low level?

In combat they atleast said that damage will scale and HP so that is whack-a-mole category covered by level difference, casters will obviously have more powerfull spells, but what about skill monkeys?



So far there is no taking 10, and his skill mastery is better than taking 10, since if he rolls higher, he keeps that higher result.

The numbers are being tweaked still, but generally however to-hit ends up, skills should stay roughly comparable.  They have said they wanted hitting to be a bit easier than it is now for what that is worth.

HP is not the same here.  If things were a bit more even, we'd perhaps see a high level rogue have a "hit point" pool on his stealth, and his roll would determine its "ac".  Guards would have to wittle through the hit points to notice the high level rogue.  That would better distinguish between things than guards being essentially incapable of ever spotting said rogue (even if they had the advantage).

As for "skill monkies", well, that should never be anyone's sole schtick.  It certainly isn't the rogue's, even though he is better with his skills than anyone else by a significant margin.

Addendum:  Overall I feel that the best way to handle things is to give characters periodic bonuses to all stats as certain levels, or bonuses to AC and all d20 rolls.  I think it needs to be to all stats evenly to avoid widening the divide between good and bad stats -- that leads do 3E/4E-type problems with divergent bonuses.  What a character is bad at stays relatively bad, and what he is good at stays relatively good, but they don't get relatively worse than before or better than before.  They do get better relative to mooks, but it shouldn't be so much that mooks don't matter....they should just matter a bit less.

I prefer a ruleset that at least somewhat models the campaign world. Even if craft and perform are very abstract since they are not adventuring skills. No one has to take a skill. If someone does want that for their character though I see no issue with it.


There's nothing preventing them from writing down "My character used to be a blacksmith" on their character sheet. Done and done. There doesn't need to be a skill for it at all.


They won't specify the skill. They will specify the challenge. I don't see published adventures having any problem with this. They've already said that one style of play is to ignore skills all together and just roll attribute checks.


Sure. I've got a system that works like that. But the more skills you add, the less you can do this - in other words, by specifying skills you decrease character abilities, and thereby increase the odds that the party will be unable to cope with a challenge that assumes they have a skill properly.


There is nothing wrong with skills that are not adventure focused. No one has to take them. They are useful even if only used for NPCs as a guideline. Some players though will want to devote a little to such skills.


Ah but you see, as a GAME DESIGNER, you would understand that such skills are traps, and ergo should not be choices at all. The idea that "no one has to choose them" is what is known as "bad game design." The CORRECT thing to do is to make it so no one DOES choose them; they are outside the system of normal skills. This isn't to say that characters can't have them, just that it doesn't cost them something that hurts them in the game's focus.


Oddly enough, I have, and in another thread mentioned the very character. Ended up incredibly powerful, and he was a siege engineer, built on the Expert class. Mechanically weak but situationally very very potent. Once again, it takes a different mindset than most D&D games, where "hit it until it's hit points reach zero" isn't the only method of success.


Oh, there are definitely campaigns where seigeworks would be relevant. Just the vast, vast majority of games, it wouldn't be.


As far as the various social skills go, however, you're absolutely right that negotiation, intimidation, diplomacy, and bluff are all very different. If they all functioned off of the same skill, however, you could still apply different stats to the skill in question based on the situation in question, and likewise the GM could decide whether or not any bonuses apply if it's an unusual one.


You could, there's nothing wrong with it. But I see them as being about as distinctive as other skills are, so I think it is not unreasonable to have three different interaction skills.

1. There won't be a Players Handbook Skill List in Next.  But looking at the Playtest, there will be one in the DMG.  I think the DMG Skill List will cover some hard ruled DCs and will offer a context for DMs to assign their own DCs.  The DMG Skill List won't cover every skill; judging by the Playtest many of the pregen's Skills are on the DM Guidelines lists, like Recall Lore and the Thievery Skills, but other looser Skills aren't like the rogue's Background of Commoner has Commerce. 

Next is specifically being designed to have an open ended subsystem for Skills.  There will be Skill bloat, lol.  But as flavor goes, lots of Skills isn't the worst thing.  So the question might not be, how many skills do we want or need?  But rather, what skills do we want or need to appear in the DMG Skill List?


Personally, I'd like to see it narrowed down to 20 Skills where each ability is well represented.  The playtest has Swim as Strength or Constitution, I always though Swim should be Constitution but I am cool with it being both.  The way Recall Lore is handled in the Playtest really covers all the old Knowledge skills - it's a different list than a Players Handbook Skill List where one character takes Knowledge Arcana and another Knowledge Nature, on a DM's Skill List all you need to convey is how to resolve Knowledge checks.

2. Without seeing any other way to acquire Skills I would like to see Backgrounds bumped up to 5 Skills each.  I see no reason why one Background should have less Skills than another, from a mechanical viewpoint.  Sure I get why Knight has more Skills than Soldier, but we can't come up some Skill to give a Soldier as benign as Heraldic Lore?  Given an extra skill or two from the 3-4 in the Playtest only adds flavor.  It also allows for more variation, specifically in campaign settings.  What's the difference between a Soldier and a Sailor?

I wouldn't mind a racial Skill.

Tying Skills to Feats is a huge mistake.  Wether it's use a Feat to gain a Skill or use a Feat to boost your Training.  Backgrounds and Themes should be distinct.  You shouldn't have to take a certain Background with a certain Theme to be great and Picking Locks.  I hope Backgrounds and/or Skills have their own built in advancement for Training if a level advancement is needed.

I liked Mearls Playtest Update article which suggested Training in place of Ability Score modifier.  The Dis/Advantage mechanic is crazy, but I like it's bringing something new to the table.  I liked the HP progression where you roll your Hit Die but can take your Con Modifier if it's higher.  This could be another Next design concept.  I would probably bump Training up to a +5 if it only replaced the Ability Score modifier.  So someone Trained in a skill is better than any untrained Ability Score attempt.  It also truly frees up Backgrounds from character stats.



3. I don't know that you would ever get more Skills.  I don't think it makes sense with a Background delivery system.  Maybe at 10th, get a couple more if there is a Paragon Path or Prestige Class system - though I have never been a fan of either.

4. With the exception of a Rogue Scheme, I don't think Next will give multiclassing Skills since they are generated at character creation, often within a Background.  I think the option to Backgrounds will be Build-Your-Own-Background.