Skills: Where are the "Acrobatics", "Athletics" and "Endurance" skills?

Unnecessary:
We don't need "Undead lore" as long as we have "Religion" or "Arcane Lore"
(we also don't need a specific "Dragon Lore", "Giant Lore" etc.)

We don't need "Societal Lore" /"Heraldic Lore" as long as we have "Local Lore" for each region.

Missing:
Where are the "Acrobatics", "Athletics" and "Endurance" skills though?
I know that most of the checks are supposed to be handled with regular ability checks. But a lot of players simply want to be better in these skills than others.

Also: Every rogue (not only the ones with the "Thief" background) should get training in "Find and Remove Traps" and "Stealth" with their class.
Only skills mentioned in backgrounds are covered in the playtest so far.  It's assumed we will see all those missing skills return soon.

It's also been mentioned that classes should have a minimum of required skills much like you've mentioned.  Still Rogues are doing well for the skills so far.
Accrobatics, Athletics and Endurance are simply the "skilled" version of Dexterity, strength and constitution, respectively. I would like to see people being better than others in those 3 activities, but does adding skills to cover exactly the same thing as attributes add anything to the game ? Does the added layer of complexity make for a more enjoyable game ?


I do agree that thiefs skills should be made differently.

the design team seem to want everyone to have the same number of skills (3) but strict adherence to this rule leads to more complicated results when they want to circumvey that rule.

For example: I don't see a reason why the way they get their extra skills is so contrived: ("Ok, you pick a background, and the skills that go with it, plus, you get to pick a second background among these 2, but you can't pick the same twice. You gain the bonus associated with it, and another ability described in the thief section that you don't get WITH the background, because other classes picking that background don't get it: you get it as part of this rogue-only-second-background-choice... So it's a rogue-only-background-related benefit")

... Instead of just saying "you get 3 more skills from the following list" 

And giving flavor-related bonus would also be simpler if the player simply got to chose one from a short list
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I must admit, there seems to be an over abundance of Lores - especially with only Three Skills (sometimes Four) for a character - unless you are a Rogue. Magical, Religion, Society all make sense, but Undead - that is should be linked to Magic or Religion. Same with Planar or Forbidden Lore.

One change that I made immediately is let players choose their skills. Have the ones in the Backgrounds be suggestions. I have also made other Rogue builds. A Con-Man build might not have Find / Remove Traps. Almost all Rogues should have Stealth, but making it an option is not a problem. It makes much more interesting characters and game play.

There should be some sort of Physical Skill or Skills. The Athletes at the Olympics where not making base Dexterity Rolls.  I like the concept of having skills not be locked a single stat, so having a single Athletics skills that effects any practices physical action would probably be enough. I have added an Athletics skill and it seems to be working very well.
I'd prefer the option of gaining training in specific skills (Climb, Jump, Swim) rather than 'group' skills like Athletics.  First, it would avoid the feeling that you've just trained all Str ability checks, and secondly, the skill training bonuses should be rare in a game based around ability checks.  (Also, I feel like the 'thief' skills get short shrift; why not group Open Locks & Trapfinding under 'Thievery' ?)
I'd prefer the option of gaining training in specific skills (Climb, Jump, Swim) rather than 'group' skills like Athletics.  First, it would avoid the feeling that you've just trained all Str ability checks, and secondly, the skill training bonuses should be rare in a game based around ability checks.  (Also, I feel like the 'thief' skills get short shrift; why not group Open Locks & Trapfinding under 'Thievery' ?)



This, I'd rather have the specific skills. The broad system was too... well, broad, for my taste. A LOT of things encompass an area like Atheletics or Acrobatics, doesn't make a lot of sense to me to group things up in such a general way.
I don't see a reason why the way they get their extra skills is so contrived: ("Ok, you pick a background, and the skills that go with it, plus, you get to pick a second background among these 2, but you can't pick the same twice. You gain the bonus associated with it, and another ability described in the thief section that you don't get WITH the background, because other classes picking that background don't get it: you get it as part of this rogue-only-second-background-choice... So it's a rogue-only-background-related benefit")

... Instead of just saying "you get 3 more skills from the following list" 


I think that picking 2 backgrounds adds a nice quality to the rogue as some sort of a versatile adventurer, someone who has more aptitudes and connections than your typical warrior or spellcaster.
It also allows you to be someone who leads a double life (a Noble/Thief, for example).
It also reinforces the idea that not all rogues are thiefs/burglars by allowing them to be something other than thiefs and still be usefull.


I'd prefer the option of gaining training in specific skills (Climb, Jump, Swim) rather than 'group' skills like Athletics.  First, it would avoid the feeling that you've just trained all Str ability checks, and secondly, the skill training bonuses should be rare in a game based around ability checks.  (Also, I feel like the 'thief' skills get short shrift; why not group Open Locks & Trapfinding under 'Thievery' ?)


So... break down athletic skills in subsets, but group thievery skills in a single group...
I think it's okay to group all or most Strength checks in a skill, because an adventurer who trains in that general area ends up being good in various physical tasks.
Athletes train a single specific subset of physical prowess to an amazing degree, but soldiers have to be good in various physical tasks and still learn other important skills, like survival, weapon maintenance, etc.
If a Fighter who wants to be good at physical tasks has to blow his 3 skills in Climb, Jump & Swim, he won't pick other interesting skills, and you're back to the guy who is only good in combat.
Maybe that's why they haven't included Athletics yet: as long as the DCs are acceptable, you don't need to train it, your natural Strength is enough to get you by, and you have the opportunity to invest in more interesting skills.
I'd prefer the option of gaining training in specific skills (Climb, Jump, Swim) rather than 'group' skills like Athletics.  First, it would avoid the feeling that you've just trained all Str ability checks, and secondly, the skill training bonuses should be rare in a game based around ability checks.  (Also, I feel like the 'thief' skills get short shrift; why not group Open Locks & Trapfinding under 'Thievery' ?)


So... break down athletic skills in subsets, but group thievery skills in a single group...



Sorry, I wasn't too clear there.. My implication was that IF we add 'group' skills (Athletics, Acrobatics) back in, we should also group Thievery.  My preference is to keep them all specific.
Sorry, I wasn't too clear there.. My implication was that IF we add 'group' skills (Athletics, Acrobatics) back in, we should also group Thievery.  My preference is to keep them all specific.


Ok, now I get it. That does make sense.

I personally prefer the other way around: I love 3.x, but the specificity of the skills was a limitation:
a non-human cleric with 10 Intelligence had to make the difficult choice between Concentration, Diplomacy, Heal, Knowledge Religion and Spellcraft.
A fighter could be good at jumping and climbing, but then he couldn't have a horse (he would need an Handle Animal and Riding).

Besides, to have more specific skills, they would need to give more than 3 skills to each character.
Isn't it cleaner and easier to have a few broad skills?

But that's just my preference.
The ideal approach would be to make it modular, but I think it would be hard to balance.
Let's approach this from a design perspective instead of a preference perspective for a moment.

There are main camps here, one that wants condensed skills and one that wants freeform skills. How does one go about making them both happy? The answer lies in the core design principle of D&DN: Modularity.

First iteration I came up with was specificity, with a general module. This ended up being overly complex for the new players, similar to 3E's skill system.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Second iteration was General, with a module for specificity. That seemed like it would end up shafting the guys who play in a Core only group but want to fine-tune.

Third iteration was archetype based (more on that below). The problem here was that it felt limiting in weird ways while also being overcomplicated in others. It felt like a step back, but I was on to something.

My final iteration was a tuned version of the archetype system. Behold!

• A character chooses a background as normal. This grants them 3 skills, as per the 2nd packet.
• A character chooses a class. This grants them 1 skill of their choice from the skill list, limited by archetype.
(For "skillful classes" like the rogue: Instead of "choose 1 from the [Archetype] list" you have "choose 2 from [any] lists")

^the above system grants a solid core, a touch of customization (while remaining thematically appropriate), retains the skillful class bonuses, and doesn't overwhelm anyone.
Unnecessary:
We don't need "Undead lore" as long as we have "Religion" or "Arcane Lore"
(we also don't need a specific "Dragon Lore", "Giant Lore" etc.)


You might not. I am glad to have Undead Lore as its own skill. I also welcome Dragon Lore and Fey lore. In my campaign, religion does not give you knowledge of undead lore.  Arcane Lore does not grant Dragon Lore



We don't need "Societal Lore" /"Heraldic Lore" as long as we have "Local Lore" for each region.


Again, I disagree.  Knowing about a Society is general knowledge about the culture (and poorly named).  Heraldric Lore goes beyond that. It too is poorly named and represents knowledge of how to handle yourself in court (just as streetwise does the underworld) and more indepth knowledge of rumors, relationships, etc of nobility that go beyond Societal lore.  A clever character could use Heraldric Lore to know about and play rivals against one another, use desires of a noble to gain favor, etc.


Missing:
Where are the "Acrobatics", "Athletics" and "Endurance" skills though?
I know that most of the checks are supposed to be handled with regular ability checks. But a lot of players simply want to be better in these skills than others.


I agree with wanting these.  My character may not have the highest dex (manual dexterity might not be superb), but he might be very acrobatic or great climber due to background, but may not have extremely high dex (manual dexterity might only be slightly above average) or strength (he might be of medium build/stature and not warrant an extremely high strength).



Also: Every rogue (not only the ones with the "Thief" background) should get training in "Find and Remove Traps" and "Stealth" with their class.


I disagree my street urchin might be a cutpurse knowledgable about Stealth, picking pockets, and streetwise, but not a burglar and no nothing about find and remove traps.   My fence may know streetwise and find/remove traps, but nothing about Stealth since he  works out of a shop and does not go skulking about. My thug may be stealthy, but  know nothing about traps, because he is a legbreaker not a burglar.


Anyone interested in the modular approach please take a look at my thread and provide feedback.

community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/...

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

I must admit, there seems to be an over abundance of Lores - especially with only Three Skills (sometimes Four) for a character - unless you are a Rogue. Magical, Religion, Society all make sense, but Undead - that is should be linked to Magic or Religion. Same with Planar or Forbidden Lore.

One change that I made immediately is let players choose their skills. Have the ones in the Backgrounds be suggestions. I have also made other Rogue builds. A Con-Man build might not have Find / Remove Traps. Almost all Rogues should have Stealth, but making it an option is not a problem. It makes much more interesting characters and game play.

There should be some sort of Physical Skill or Skills. The Athletes at the Olympics where not making base Dexterity Rolls.  I like the concept of having skills not be locked a single stat, so having a single Athletics skills that effects any practices physical action would probably be enough. I have added an Athletics skill and it seems to be working very well.



They removed that in the second playtest packet,and i think it's a HUGE step back.
Having skills not locked to stats give to players and DM better playing tools without cluttering the system with tons of skllls or the necessity to create a broad skill category.



DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.


They removed that (alternate skills for checks) in the second playtest packet,and i think it's a HUGE step back.
Having skills not locked to stats give to players and DM better playing tools without cluttering the system with tons of skllls or the necessity to create a broad skill category.





 This may be true but since it's a playtest and we are testing different versions of the rules it would be better to let the devs know that some of their changes from the first round seemed like a step in the wrong direction. 

I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of this until the play test is done, I wouldn't worry about it. 

I think the spirit of skills is that you make checks against certain ability scores to accomplish something.  As long as this gets communicated to the players in the rules then what specific thing to be rolled can be quickly ( or not so quickly ) determined by the DM or by the group as a whole if it comes to that. I have one player who feels the need to question or refute every rule in the books just because. 

I can't see a simpler way to do this and for me it's already a given that I will make these decisions at the time it occurs and not be constrained to one single ability roll for every instance of a skill check, or challenge. 


They removed that in the second playtest packet,and i think it's a HUGE step back.
Having skills not locked to stats give to players and DM better playing tools without cluttering the system with tons of skllls or the necessity to create a broad skill category.






They probably received a lot f negative feedback on that.  I can see a lot of DMs not liking it since it adds a lot more responsibility, and others not liking it since taken to the extreme it makes no sense.  You can't flex or punch knowledge out of the universe in the case of lore for example.  Sure some physical skills might be able to sub in another stat here and there but if you need to jump 7 meters being really smart wont get you there.  It needed a DM to step in and say no, and with all the uproar about mother may I DMs this might be one area that got cut.  Add in that it leads to one stat modeled characters with a list of rationalizations and it might not work to well with an attribute check system.  
Yeah, i can understand your POV, but all it's needed,imo, to satisfy both sides is to label in the skill list the abilities as recommended.
This way,every DM can set up  how to use skills at the start of the campaign,and everyone is happy
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.
Yeah, i can understand your POV, but all it's needed,imo, to satisfy both sides is to label in the skill list the abilities as recommended.
This way,every DM can set up  how to use skills at the start of the campaign,and everyone is happy

I did like lots of different skills in 3E, I did and indeed still do like the skill point system, however the failure of it IMHO is the different skills point allocated to different class's and especially that of the 3E fighter, cleric and Wizard. So in line with that I am hoping that if they develop the classes themselves 'without' a skill system then a plug in skill point system with equal skill points for all characters.
 I did like lots of different skills in 3E, I did and indeed still do like the skill point system, however the failure of it IMHO is the different skills point allocated to different class's and especially that of the 3E fighter, cleric and Wizard.



Replace wizard with sorcerer and I agree with you.  The wizard is going to have a good number of skill points from their Intelligence modifier (and that x4 bonus at first level).


As for next, Right now, I find the number of specialties starting characters get to be pathetic.  They need more.
I had missed that the designers removed alternate ability scores uses until after sending in my feedback.  I wish I had caught it earlier. It is a bad change in my opinion.
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