Skill Mastery should start at 5.

While the idea of skill mastery is good, it's just eliminates too many challenges.

Reducing it to 5 still gives rogues a fairly big edge and let's them acomplish easy tasks without risk, but doesn't stop them from auto-succeding in harder tasks.

You can still increase it to 10 at high levels.  As an epic rogue never failing a hard task is fine.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Just dump the boring Skill mastery alltogether and replace with this:

"As long as a you do not have disadvantage on a skill check, you have advantage."

Change Knack to:
"Twice per day, you can give yourself advantage, or ignore disadvantage on any on check or attack.
I like skill mastery as is other than the fact it works for ALL the rogue's skills. I could see a level 1 rogue having skill mastery in 1 skill, perhaps stealth. Then at perhaps level 3 getting it in remove traps. Then at perhaps level 5 getting it in open locks.

It just seems unreasonable that ALL level 1 rogues have skill mastery in ALL skills. If that truly is the case, then I will be tempted to dip into rogue with every class I play. They've said they'll make dipping not work as well, but you'd probably get full skill mastery of a level 1 rogue in a few levels of multiclass rogue. I'd want to do that for every character I play, as I hate failing at skills.
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While the idea of skill mastery is good, it's just eliminates too many challenges.

Reducing it to 5 still gives rogues a fairly big edge and let's them acomplish easy tasks without risk, but doesn't stop them from auto-succeding in harder tasks.

You can still increase it to 10 at high levels.  As an epic rogue never failing a hard task is fine.


I like this idea too.
sounds good to me- Definately better than it is now.   I honestly would like to see rogues get something that doesn't tie to skills in case you want to "go old school" and not use skills.
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
Take a look at my clarified ability scores And also my Houserules relevent to DNDNext
I"m still lobbying for my preferred fix to Skill Mastery:


The problems: 

1)  Skill mastery makes rogues succeed, 100%, all the time on Hard Skill Checks - with no need to roll.  This is undesirable and also not as much fun for some players.
2)  Thief rogues, to use their sneak attack, have to go into a cycle of hide - attack - hide  - attack which isn't much fun in combat.  Spending half of your actions to hide isn't good design - even if the damage math works out.


The solution:
1)  Skill mastery still allows the rogue to make skill checks as if their ability score mod was +3 regardless of their actual ability score.
2)  Rogues have advantage on all skill checks made outside of combat.  It you want a lock picked - the rogue usually succeed.

3)  In combat, if a rogue takes an action which is not an attack, the rogue (being the consumate skill monkey) can also attempt to use one of his skills as part of that action (similar to how a Fighter can Jab).  Although they would still only be attacking every other round (part of the math and why I think the thug is broken), on their 'off rounds' they would not be limited to just hiding.  They would be able to take other actions - they might load a crossbow, they might toss a handful of caltrops, they might loot a corpse, they might pick a lock  - while at the same time also going into hiding (assuming proper concealment, of course).


I think that this accomplishes the goal of keeping rogues as the ultimate skill monkeys - no one is going to beat them at skills out of the game (exploration pillar) while at the same time they are able to use their skills in ways that no other class can equal - but also which make it more fun and interesting to play a rogue because you can always be doing something instead of taking every other round off to hide (or giving up your sneak attack).


Carl                
sounds good to me- Definately better than it is now.   I honestly would like to see rogues get something that doesn't tie to skills in case you want to "go old school" and not use skills.



No matter how old school you get - rogues always had skills.


The 'innovation' was to let other classes have them as well.


Carl   

Lets look at what they are trying to do. This is from the playtest DM rules.


"Hard (DC 16):
Hard tasks include any effort that is beyond the capabilities of most people without aid or exceptional ability. Such tasks include battering down a heavy wooden door that is locked, swimming in stormy waters, ascending a sheer surface with scant handholds, balancing on a very narrow ledge, or picking a typical lock."

So a rogue with skill mastery , taking advantage of the +3 for being trained and the +3 for "doesn't matter what my stat is I get a +3", will get a 16 attempting to pick a lock. Which means they will always succeed at picking a typical lock.

THAT is the baseline they are going for. That thief type checks will always be "Hard" difficulty, and that the Rogue-ey thief should always succeed at them because they are just that good. If you start to tinker with the skill mastery number, you negate what they are trying to accomplish.

I reckon that we disagree with their baseline goal, then? I think that Hard checks should be pretty doable for a rogue, but I'd rather not see them be automatic successes.
"I reckon that we disagree with their baseline goal, then?"

Yep, and that is certainly a valid opinion. I just wanted to point out what they were trying to do, and that their numbers are chosen to support that. If you think their goal is bad, then it follows you will think the numbers are bad.
I am still rooting for my suggestion up there.

Automatic success is always boring, even if its perfecty balanced. Rolling dice is fun, so just give them advantage. That will make them succeed easily on normal tasks and still have some suspense rolling for hard tasks.

If the difficulty level of thief-tasks is set extreamly high just to give the Rogue class an edge that will defeat the entire purpose of Backgrounds. So a fighter with a Thief background cannot pick locks because if you dont have the rogue class benefits you will just fail all the time? Does not sound like good design to me.

The design of the rogue class should be able to stand on its own, not by making things harder for other classes.

Personally I feel that with the inclusion of the Backgrounds, the concept of the Rogue as the skill class needs to change. Yes, they were the only skill users before.. but now the Thief background IS the old rogue class.

The new Rogue class needs a completely new concept, not connected to being the 'skill class'.
The new Rogue class needs a completely new concept, not connected to being the 'skill class'.

+1

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The fighter thief won't fail all the time. Just half the time (assuming a 16 dex.)

And for more difficult locks, he's got the exact same rate of success as the rogue thief.
I am still rooting for my suggestion up there.

Automatic success is always boring, even if its perfecty balanced. Rolling dice is fun, so just give them advantage. That will make them succeed easily on normal tasks and still have some suspense rolling for hard tasks.

If the difficulty level of thief-tasks is set extreamly high just to give the Rogue class an edge that will defeat the entire purpose of Backgrounds. So a fighter with a Thief background cannot pick locks because if you dont have the rogue class benefits you will just fail all the time? Does not sound like good design to me.

The design of the rogue class should be able to stand on its own, not by making things harder for other classes.

Personally I feel that with the inclusion of the Backgrounds, the concept of the Rogue as the skill class needs to change. Yes, they were the only skill users before.. but now the Thief background IS the old rogue class.

The new Rogue class needs a completely new concept, not connected to being the 'skill class'.



I wouldn't give them advantage, I'd put it like "If you roll a 10 or less you can re-roll and take either result" That way its not tied to the advantage/disadvantage mechanic and they could get advantage and roll 4d20 if they somehow got 10 or below...Smile
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1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
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Automatic success is always boring, even if its perfecty balanced. Rolling dice is fun, so just give them advantage. That will make them succeed easily on normal tasks and still have some suspense rolling for hard tasks.

But it also increases game time.

I mean, the rogue saying "i hide" every round is much faster then saying "i hide, umm, advantage, 16 is the highest,  +4 means 20".

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

If skill mastery is lowered it should be lowered to "7".    This would give 1st level rogues a chance to automatically succeed on a moderate (DC 13) check.   If the DM wants to make it harder...then a Hard (DC 16) check would force the rogue to roll (most likely at +6), so he would succeed 50% of the time.  Effectively, this shifts the rogue's skills down 1 full level of difficulty.    

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Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

I don't understand where the notion that Rogues are skill monkeys comes from. In 2E, the Thief had a bunch of skills but just about all of them were directly related to its thiefyness. The only one that really  wasn't was Read Languauges, but that started at 5% which is trivial and hardly represents "skill mastery". In 4E, the Rogue started with a couple more trained skills than most other classes, but again that didn't consitute "skill mastery", just a slightly broader profile.

I don't see how the history of D&D suggests the Rogue should get a hamfisted mechanic that makes him better at EVERY non-combat action.
In AD&D, the rogue was the only class with a skill mechanic at all.

I missed 2e, but in 3e, the rogue got the most skill points, had a couple "rogue-only" skill abilities, and got some skill mastery effects.

In 4e, they did move away from skill monkey and towards a striker concept. But I guess 5e will back off from that.
I agree, it should not be impossible to give the rogue a unique class concept without this skill mastery.

Also, the current Rogue turns into various concepts that are very unlike a rogue combined with some odd template such as Noble (some sort of fault free social butterfly) or Priest (the best religious scholar in the land that can't get any prayers answered). Skill mastery just dont make sense for this.

By the way, I feel a constant lack of words for describing skill categories in this system? Anyone else that miss acrobatics, athletics, climb, jump or any kind of movement skill, or way to refer to these skills/checks in 5E?
Strength or Dex checks covers all the athletics acrobatics jump tumble etc... at the moment.
Simple solution: add Fighter's CS dice to the class, but use them mostly just for sneak attack and skill checks.
Strength or Dex checks covers all the athletics acrobatics jump tumble etc... at the moment.



Yes, but they also covers checks totally unrelated to movement, such as lifting heavy loads.
I find this crippling.
In AD&D, the rogue was the only class with a skill mechanic at all.


But what were those skills? Were they just thief stuff like Hide in Shadows and Pick Lock?
Yes, basically, and you distributed a percentage chance of success on them.

Hmm.. I kind of miss Use Magic Device...   can't this be included in the new Rogue concept?
I think the key is what the definition of the rogue is:

Is the rogue the skilled expert class or the tricky nimble cheater class?

If the rogue's major trait is being a skiled expert and a master of their crafts, then the rogue should rarely fail anything but the hardest checks?

If the rogue's major traits are being a cheat and having knowledge of some tricks, then rogue are just a bit better than most and skill mastery is too much.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Also, the current Rogue turns into various concepts that are very unlike a rogue combined with some odd template such as Noble (some sort of fault free social butterfly) or Priest (the best religious scholar in the land that can't get any prayers answered). Skill mastery just dont make sense for this.


Right. In the 2E Thieves Handbook there were a bunch of different builds offered and not all of them were thieves. Backgrounds like Bounty Hunter, Buccaneer, Smuggler and Swashbuckler were included, all of which fit nicely under the broad heading of "Rogue". Yet, I don't see how Skill Mastery is appropriate for any of them. The 5E Rogue should embrace the broad possibilites the class presents, instead of simply saying "we'll make him the super-skill guy beceause we have to give him something".
I kind of had an idea..  but I have not really had time to think it through..  but I will... 
Meanwhile I just throw it out here...

Make the rogue have a slightly CS like mechanic, but with movement as a resource.
A tumble cost so and so movement, a feint costs this and this. Give the rogue movement increases as they level up.

This kind of rogue would become the master of 'mobility' and acrobatics. This is maybe not the same rogue as the 'skill master' rogue, but it is a more rougy concept in my opinion and it gives the rogue a niche on its own without messing with the Backgrounds.
I will make a class like this when I have the time.
What about limiting SM to just the skills from your Scheme's background?
Feedback Disclaimer
Yes, I am expressing my opinions (even complaints - le gasp!) about the current iteration of the play-test that we actually have in front of us. No, I'm not going to wait for you to tell me when it's okay to start expressing my concerns (unless you are WotC). (And no, my comments on this forum are not of the same tone or quality as my actual survey feedback.)
A Psion for Next (Playable Draft) A Barbarian for Next (Brainstorming Still)
How many skills are in the current play test?
I haven't noticed an isue with skill mastery in my group's playtesting.  Last session, the rogue used it to sneak past a goblin lookout.  Goblin rolled higher on spot than the rogue's skillmastery and saw the rogue slinking around.  Worked just fine in play.
25 (although there are some significant lacking areas in my opinon)
Well look at it this way.

Currently a rogue with a nonpositive ability modifier automatically succeeded a DC 13 check on a trained skill check. A normal character with a +0 modifier has a 40% chance of success on a DC 13 check.
What is a DC 13 skill check?

  1. Climb a rough wall.

  2. Swing on a chandelier

  3. Roll down a hill without hurting oneself

  4. Estimate the price of jewelry

  5. Eavesdrop on a conversation through a wall

  6. Give a rousing speech


That seems okay for a 40% chance for normies and 100% for experts.


Currently a rogue with a +3 ability modifier automatically succeeded a DC 16 check on a trained skill check. A normal character with a +0 modifier has a 25% chance of success on a DC 16 check.


What is a DC 16 skill check?



  1. Break a locked door?

  2. Wiggle out rope binds

  3. Stay away for 40 hours

  4. Recall vague info on esoteric facts

  5. Find a secret door

  6. Calm an aggressive wild animal


WHAT?!


Sounds like the problem isn't that rogue autosuceed. It is that the autosuceed on crazy difficult stuff. Skill mastery isn't too high. The DCs are too low!

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

Animal Handling - CHA
Bluff - CHA
Diplomacy - CHA
Find and Remove Traps - INT
Forbidden Lore - INT
Geographical Lore - INT
Heraldic Lore - INT
Historical Lore - INT
Insight - WIS
Intimidate - CHA
Local Lore - INT
Magical Lore - INT
Natural Lore - INT
Open Locks - DEX
Planar Lore - INT
Professional Lore - INT
Religious Lore - INT
Sleight of Hand - DEX
Societal Lore - INT
Spot - WIS
Stealth - DEX
Streetwise - CHA
Survival - CHA
Underdark Lore - INT
Undead Lore - INT

25 Skills

13 Lore Skills

STR based: 0
DEX based: 3
CON based: 0
INT based: 14
WIS based: 2
CHA based: 6

I find the preponderance of Lore skills a bit uncalled for, especially since neither Strength or Constitution have any at all. If you have a high INT, you will excel at more than half of the skill list. If you have an INT/CHA build, you pretty much own the skill list. 

If you have a high INT, you will excel at more than half of the skill list. If you have an INT/CHA build, you pretty much own the skill list. 

That is rather silly, yes.

If you have a high INT, you will excel at more than half of the skill list. If you have an INT/CHA build, you pretty much own the skill list. 


Isn't this fairly balanced when Str/Dex/Con pretty much own melee/ranged combat and Dex/Con/Wis pretty much own saving throws?
If you have a high INT, you will excel at more than half of the skill list. If you have an INT/CHA build, you pretty much own the skill list. 


Isn't this fairly balanced when Str/Dex/Con pretty much own melee/ranged combat and Dex/Con/Wis pretty much own saving throws?



Yes, STR/DEX/CON is for melee combat.
Saving throws, though, pull from all ability scores, not just DEX/CON/WIS.
My point is that there are NO skills that are STR or CON based. 4E at least had 1 for each (Athletics and Endurance). 
What about limiting SM to just the skills from your Scheme's background?


That would definitely be an improvement, but it still doesn't explain why a Rogue has any Skill Mastery to begin with. If anything, a Rogue should be less skilled than other characters because he has likely eschewed formal education and training. A Rogue's skills would develop almost entirely from personal experience, and that's something any character has access to. Basically, "rogue" is just a lifestyle choice, and that lifestyle doesn't have any inherent benefits when it comes to mastering skills.
My point is that there are NO skills that are STR or CON based. 4E at least had 1 for each (Athletics and Endurance). 


Oh, OK, I understand where you are coming from.  I am under the assumption that the specific skills included in the playtest are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather, merely representative of the skills available for the specific backgrounds included in the playtest. 
My point is that there are NO skills that are STR or CON based. 4E at least had 1 for each (Athletics and Endurance). 


Oh, OK, I understand where you are coming from.  I am under the assumption that the specific skills included in the playtest are not meant to be exhaustive, but rather, merely representative of the skills available for the specific backgrounds included in the playtest. 



I sure hope so. Since there are a majority spell-casters in the playtest material, the characters are much more likely to be INT-heavy. I suppose this was just a sample of the skills that currently-creatable characters will likely take more advantage of. 


  1. Climb a rough wall.

  2. Swing on a chandelier

  3. Roll down a hill without hurting oneself

  4. Estimate the price of jewelry

  5. Eavesdrop on a conversation through a wall

  6. Give a rousing speech



  1. Break a locked door?

  2. Wiggle out rope binds

  3. Stay away for 40 hours

  4. Recall vague info on esoteric facts

  5. Find a secret door

  6. Calm an aggressive wild animal


WHAT?!


Sounds like the problem isn't that rogue autosuceed. It is that the autosuceed on crazy difficult stuff. Skill mastery isn't too high. The DCs are too low!


Take a close look at your lists. Regardless of where the DC's are set, does it make any sense that a single character is capable of being skilled at all those wildly differently things, let alone one who is a "rogue"? If you were making a class that constituted people who lived on the fringes of society, would you make it so the class was inherently capable of giving rousing speeches, recalling esoteric facts AND calming aggressive wild animals?

The developers can fiddle with the DC's and power of Skill Mastery all they want, SM still won't make a lick of sense.