Rules that make sense, but aren't in the game

I've thought of some situations and stuff that I would personally allow as a DM, but aren't explicitly condoned by the rules...

Combined Skills: What if a situation drew on 2 very different skills, do you choose the higher one (they probably have the same die and bonus), roll both skills and go with the higher one (similar to advantage), or roll both skill die and add them, allowing an exceptionally high degree of proficiency in this rare, edge-case scenario.  I had a PC in Caves of Chaos combine Profession (Pupetry) and Intimidation to impersonate an animated symbol of Guumsh.  That's a situation where I'd want to give a bonus for combining skills in ways that made the encounter more interesting for everyone at the table.

Dodge and Dexterity Saves: If someone is going to spend their whole action just to dodge, I will let them roll a dexterity save as their one reaction to negate an attack that has bypassed their +4 AC (DC being the original hit value of the attack).  This makes dodging marginally more useful and gives the dodging player something they can roll for on their turn.

Some of this stuff obviously belongs in house rules, but occasionally it might make sense to clear up in the base game, what you rules or clarifications have you added (or can see yourself adding) to the latest playtest?
I miss the "group checks" from 4E.

Having a party sneak up to their destination with the heavy armor chars constantly failing any steahlthy checks sucks big time.
I miss the "group checks" from 4E.

Having a party sneak up to their destination with the heavy armor chars constantly failing any steahlthy checks sucks big time.


but its realistic

you are only as strong as your weakest link
I miss the "group checks" from 4E.

Having a party sneak up to their destination with the heavy armor chars constantly failing any steahlthy checks sucks big time.


but its realistic

you are only as strong as your weakest link




 so true, almighty.

is it of anyones opinion that this new skill system is a horrible representation?
why is my lvl 10 cleric, who has not picked up his paint brush in ages because of all his adventuring, suddenly a master painter? i dont like it. if we could at least see some optional rules around a point based skill system, i'd be happy.
I miss the "group checks" from 4E.

Having a party sneak up to their destination with the heavy armor chars constantly failing any steahlthy checks sucks big time.


but its realistic

you are only as strong as your weakest link




 so true, almighty.

is it of anyones opinion that this new skill system is a horrible representation?
why is my lvl 10 cleric, who has not picked up his paint brush in ages because of all his adventuring, suddenly a master painter? i dont like it. if we could at least see some optional rules around a point based skill system, i'd be happy.


honestly, i like the skill die system. although i wouldnt mind if it was more like, choose x skills each level. if trained, improve skill die by one, if not trained, you are now trained. etcetcetc
that would show improvement to particular areas, and i like that much better.
I want to like skill die, but I'm not a fan. I think the +1 to a skill every other level worked alright.
I'm for group stealth. I never knew why two sneaky sneaks couldn't help the dude in plate out. Oil his armor. Pad it some to reduce the sounds. At least whisper hush.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
The problem with point based skill systems is that a +1 bonus means significantly less at end game than it does at the beginning of the game. In 3E, no matter how many points a Fighter put into Wisdom, Spot/Listen, and magic items for Spot/Listen, the Rogue/Assassin had no chance to fail a Hide/Move Silently roll against him. If I'm level 19 and decide that my character has "found god", so I dump all my level 20 skill points into knowledge (religion), what do I get out of it ...

The only way to make it work, at least the first thing that comes to my mind, would be if skill ranks were capped at something low, like 3 or 5, and then more skill ranks just unlocked "skill feats", or something, that gave more options with the skill. Bounded accuracy dictates that we could go with something like this.
Poe's Law is alive and well. Emerikol is right*
Xeviat, I had thought about a similar idea. Should skills give capabilities like skill trick-like actions or just bonuses to checks? I'm really unsure. Either way, a low skill rank cap would be ideal for the reasons you mentioned. I think in the earlier one I mentioned it was capped at +7.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
I really liked the old playtest system where you could only get 10 skill ranks by 20th level between all your skills. No more +25 to a skill check. I didn't think anything was wrong with it, but if they want to go with the skill dice instead, they could mke it so you increase one of your skills' die at even levels.
In one of the last packages they made it so that if a PC or creature was firing a missle weapon while in a threatened area, he/she/it did it with "disadvantage".   They didn't repeat that in this package so there is no penalty for loading and firing a bow when threatened.   I think there needs to be some kind of penalty...either the "disadvantage" rule or the take an AoO (from previous editions).


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The reason why your cleric isn't a good painter is because that really should be a trained-only skill.  I know it isn't in RAW, but as a DM, sometimes you have to say "no" when something just doesn't make good sense.  I think this version is trying to get away from the "I have to have a card to do it" mentality that some others seem to have created for some players.  It's trying to keep things intuitive and simple, while allowing that it can't cover everything.  The "everything is an attribute check" approach to skills and saves reflects that, and I like it.  Takes a little more imagination, but it's far easier to run and play.
I think there's a space for skill points, 4E-style skill training, skill-less ability checks, and so forth, as well as skill dice. That being said, only one should be Core, because Core needs only one system to function. As a matter of fact, Backgrounds and skills are still technically optional (though thanks to the various class features, getting less so). Various approaches to skills can easily be modular, to the point where different characters at the same table could use different approaches without upsetting balance too much. The question then becomes not "Which skill system shall we use?" but "Which skill system will they offically write-up first?"
"Our idea of rules modules has a wide range of scope; sometimes, our rules modules might just be small tweaks and variant rules, while other times they could be large-scale changes and entirely new subsystems. We want people to make the game their own, and that means provided a whole array of possibilities based on what you, the players, tell us that you want." -D&DNext Q&A Blog, 8/29/12, Answer #3.

The only way to make it work, at least the first thing that comes to my mind, would be if skill ranks were capped at something low, like 3 or 5, and then more skill ranks just unlocked "skill feats", or something, that gave more options with the skill. Bounded accuracy dictates that we could go with something like this.



+1 to that.

I think this is the idea behind Rogue's Skill Tricks. The fact that you can use generic skills to  do more complicated things. Only they should try making it more universal. 
People are currently complaining why would only a rogue, can "Display Deadliness" for example (which is basically an Intimidate check). With a 'skill feat' system any player could use a skill in a more advanced way but the rogue's skill die and/or improved selection of 'skill feats' would make him better at it.
I like the idea of Skill Dice more than the static bonuses, though I'll admit that I haven't had enough exposure to them in action to make a very informed decision.

I do like the element of chance, and the feeling of rolling skill dice with a d20 (the more clattering around in your had, the better chance you feel you have). 

If the improvements in skill were represented through 1.) advantage on skill dice, 2.) increasing the skill dice size by one step, and 3.) skill focus' "take ten" effect (all before your ability mod bonus) then it should be simple enough for new players to grasp while giving enough tactical options for advanced players. Do I want to dump all of my feats into skill focus while staying the same as a fighter? What will that mean in the future?

It wouldn't be a difficult system to manage on a player sheet either;

Sneak - 1d6 (Advantage & Focus)
Bluff - 1d6
Intimidate - 1d6 (Advantage)
Disable Device - 1d8 (Focus)
Use Rope - 1d6 

Mostly I feel that to preserve simplicity the largest share of the math should be represented by the numbers on your dice rather than on a cluttered sheet, because the rules are already complex enough.
Toronto Dungeon Master
After some play and discussion, I think small a small static bonus that increases slowly with level is the way to go in this bounded-accuracy system.  That way you don't get the "can't possibly ever see them" scenarios, and you don't get the "I'm a 20th level character with blacksmithing and I just rolled 2 ones, so now I can't even figure out the metal this sword is made of" kind of stuff.  It's better to delineate basic abilities, and a static bonus system that grows relatively slowly seems to be the best way to do that, as opposed to more dice.  Perhaps some combination of the two might work?
Perhaps some combination of the two might work?

I think the combination that will work best is 1d20 + relevant Ability modifier + a die you only get when trained in the skill that increases in some way by gaining levels.

To use your blacksmith at 20th level example: you roll two 1s, and you add your ability modifier of +3 that you have because you are pretty decent at this whole blacksmithing thing... and you get 5 and succeed because the task you are attempting (discerning type of metal) isn't all that difficult at all.

...oh, I forgot to mention that I also think that skill DCs need to be set to a range of 5 through 25 instead of 10 through 30 so as to facilitate "easy" actually meaning easy instead of "easy if you are an expert, and iffy otherwise."

ATTENTION:  If while reading my post you find yourself thinking "Either this guy is being sarcastic, or he is an idiot," do please assume that I am an idiot. It makes reading your replies more entertaining. If, however, you find yourself hoping that I am not being even remotely serious then you are very likely correct as I find irreverence and being ridiculous to be relaxing.



is it of anyones opinion that this new skill system is a horrible representation?
why is my lvl 10 cleric, who has not picked up his paint brush in ages because of all his adventuring, suddenly a master painter? i dont like it. if we could at least see some optional rules around a point based skill system, i'd be happy.




I'll answer this 2 different ways

1) Roleplay Answer:  Perhaps your level 10 cleric, who mastered the painting techniques before his adventures, now after seeing and doing some amazing things, perhaps seeing comrades die, gotten much closer to his god, and generally had huge emotional growth now simply has more inspiration for his pieces?  Alternatively why must your cleric have not touched his paintbrush?

2) Game Mechanics Answer: If  you as a player, never intended for your cleric to progress as a painter, but simply wanted to say at one point he was but no longer seeks to develope that skill, I as a DM would tell you to call that a background detail and not worry about the mechanic of the skill dice for your painting.  I think the assumption is that players wish to take skills that will be meaningful and will grow with their characters.  I know when I DM, I look at my players skills and try to work them into my storylines.  For your cleric if you truly took the painter skill, I would perhaps involve you in a storyline to help protect a prized temple painting by copying it to have a masterful fake on display and the original secured.  Or to go to extreme locales for additional inspiritation.

I guess what I am saying is, if the skill doesn't mean anything to you, don't take it and see if your DM will allow you to simply have a detail in your history that notes you are a decent painter.  If it does matter to you, take the skill, and make it part of who your character is.  The concept of this painting cleric gets me excited to run a game for his player.  Theres depth there beyond a character who chooses a boring (possible more useful) skill.

The only way to make it work, at least the first thing that comes to my mind, would be if skill ranks were capped at something low, like 3 or 5, and then more skill ranks just unlocked "skill feats", or something, that gave more options with the skill. Bounded accuracy dictates that we could go with something like this.



+1 to that.

I think this is the idea behind Rogue's Skill Tricks. The fact that you can use generic skills to  do more complicated things. Only they should try making it more universal. 
People are currently complaining why would only a rogue, can "Display Deadliness" for example (which is basically an Intimidate check). With a 'skill feat' system any player could use a skill in a more advanced way but the rogue's skill die and/or improved selection of 'skill feats' would make him better at it.



Hmm the way I believe a proper skill system should work is base it off of a perk system. Looking at Skyrim, when you level up your skills on that game you unlock new perks right? We'll why not do the same thing here? Have unlockable perks for each skill, separate from the feat system where you get to choose a certain perk for each skill. For example, when you rank up your stealth skill to 4 then you choose from one of 2 perks: You can either choose Shadowy guidance which will grant any allies within 2 spaces of you a +4 on stealth checks or you can choose "favored footing" which is where when you choose a creature type like "outsiders" and you get +4 stealth bonus on outsiders. Or having training in combining certain skills like if you have training in tumbling also then your character can unlock the perk ability to tumble roll while stealthed for quicker movement such as to avoid sight quickly for example. Roll a stealth check and tumble check vs the opponents spot and listen check to determine success just for an example.

Now implementing this into the current skill mechanic you could possibly choose a perk for each skill you are trained in each level and it will grant you or your party certain bonuses depending on what you do or what situation you are in. This to me would possibly be the proper skill system that would be in-game.